By James Goyder
Wanheng Menayothin brutally exposed Young Gil Bae’s shortcomings in a WBC 105 title defence in Chonburi this afternoon. The Thai champion was in control from start to finish before finally putting the Korean challenger away in the ninth round.
Bae’s superior height and reach might have been expected to pose Wanheng a few problems but he was unable to launch any effective offence. The first two rounds were a feeling out process with the Thai using fast head movement to evade his opponents punches and landing some solid jabs of his own.
Towards the end of the third round the jabs already seemed to be taking their toll on Bae and Wanheng began to pick up the pace, using his jab to set up hard right hands. This pattern continued throughout the fight with Bae’s confidence visibly diminishing and his nose starting to swell.
In the seventh round Wanheng started to throw more power punches, getting on the inside to land hooks and uppercuts to the body and head. The following round he went back to his weapon of choice, punishing Bae continuously with the jab.
The Korean came out for the ninth round with his left hand tucked in front of his face, possibly to protect that damaged nose. The strategy backfired when he was dropped by a short right hand from the champion.
The referee could have called off the contest there and then as Bae seemed reluctant to answer the count. A few more hard jabs later and he did just that, possibly to save the Korean’s nose from sustaining further punishment.
It was an impressive performance from Wanheng who moves up to 40-0 and retains the WBC 105 lbs title he won last year. Bae drops to 26-5-1 after being badly exposed by arguably the best fighter in the division.