The ambitious career of Erick Rosa will now include a shot at the best strawweight in the world.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that the WBA has ordered a strawweight title consolidation fight between Dominican Republic’s Rosa as the ‘World’ (Regular) titlist and Thailand’s Thammanoon Niyomtrong, better known as Knockout CP Freshmart and who holds the ‘Super’ title. The fight was formally ordered on September 29 with the two sides granted a free negotiation period to work out terms for their overdue mandatory title fight.
“WBA rules entitle the President and the Championships Committee at their discretion to define a mandatory period,” Carlos Chavez, chairman of the WBA Championships Committee, informed Niyomtrong and Rosa via official letter, a copy of which was obtained by BoxingScene.com. “Your Super Champion status was conditioned to an eighteen-month (18) mandatory defense period.
“Since your last mandatory was on November 29, 2018, the next obligatory championship bout is past due from May 28, 2020, and thus shall box against the world champion (official contender) Erick Rosa. Pursuant to WBA rule C.13- Bout Limitations – the champion may not fight a boxer who is not the official challenger within sixty (60) days of the expiration of the mandatory defense period. Based on the above-mentioned facts, on behalf of the Championships Committee, we hereby order a thirty-day (30) mandatory negotiation period.”
Niyomtrong fights for Piyarat Vachirarattanawong’s Petpiya Fight Promotions, while Rosa is proudly represented by Belgica Pena of Shuan Boxing, the leading promoter in the Dominican Republic.
Niyomtrong (24-0, 9KOs) has held the WBA ‘Super’ strawweight since June 2016, when he outpointed Nicaragua’s Bryon Rojas to upgrade his interim title. The 32-year-old from Surin, Thailand is the longest reigning active male titleholder in the sport, having defended his title eleven times.
The most recent title defense for Niyomtrong came in a twelve-round win over countryman and former WBC titlist Wanheng ‘TBE’ Menayothin on July 20 in Chonburi, Thailand. The bout was a few years past its best-sell date, long called while both were unbeaten titlists though reluctant to meet due to their longtime friendship.
The fight also came with the understanding that Niyomtrong was very likely to next face Rosa. A box-off was ordered by the WBA last year, with Niyomtrong scoring a fifth round knockout of Robert Paradero last December 14 in Phuket, Thailand. Rosa (5-0, 1KOs) entered the picture one week later, winning his version of the title with a twelve-round, split decision win over Vic Saludar who outpointed Paradero to win the vacant belt earlier in the year.
Rosa has fought in scheduled ten- and twelve-round fights since his October 2020 pro debut. The 22-year-old southpaw has fought all five fights in his Santo Domingo hometown, including his title winning effort over Saludar last December. He previously claimed the interim WBA strawweight title in a twelve-round, unanimous decision win over then-unbeaten Ricardo Astuvilca last July 21. The reign lasted just one month, before the WBA removed the belts from circulation due to its forced and ongoing title reduction campaign.
Niyomtrong-Rosa is one of three title consolidation clashes to have been put in play by the WBA in the past couple of weeks.
The sanctioning body recently instructed WBA ‘Super’/IBF middleweight titlist Gennadiy Golovkin and WBA ‘World’ titlist Erislandy Lara to enter talks for a fight that is required to take place by next January. Also, and as recently reported by BoxingScene.com, Leo Santa Cruz and Leigh Wood will have to return to the negotiating table for their featherweight title consolidation clash that both sides have gone out of their way to stall.
Should all three fights reach resolution, it will leave just four divisions—heavyweight, super middleweight, welterweight and lightweight—with two each WBA title claimants.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox