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List of Articles by Joaquin Henson



WBA affirms Thai anomaly

By Joaquin Henson
PhilBoxing.com
21 Jul 2017



WBA Asia head of operations Won Kim has confirmed that there was a timekeeping anomaly in the recent fight where Stamp Kiatniwat was saved from a possible knockout by a short round in Bangkok and ordered a rematch with Filipino Michael Enriquez who lost to the Thai via a unanimous 12-round decision for the vacant WBA Asia flyweight crown.

Enriquez’ manager Jim Claude Manangquil of General Santos City's Sanman Promotions welcomed Kim’s order and said he will bid to stage the return bout in the Philippines. “We are happy with the order (as) at least, there’s a little justice with what happened in the fight,” said Manangquil. “I will bid for the rematch in our country.”

Enriquez, 25, landed a left hook to the jaw early in the seventh round and Kiatniwat, whose real name is Yutthana Kaensa, went down hard on his side near the ropes. Kiatniwat rolled and was flat on his stomach before getting up at the count of eight on rubbery legs. Thai referee Pinit Prayadsab was never close to stopping the contest even as Kiatniwat held on for dear life with Enriquez pressing the attack. Kiatniwat grabbed Enriquez thrice to stall for time then the bell surprisingly rang at the 1:45 mark. Kiatniwat was off the hook.

Somehow, Kiatniwat managed to survive the distance and won on points. The three Thai judges didn’t give Enriquez much of a chance. Jirawat In Eam and Nanchai Pongsri saw it both 115-112 while Prommase Chakshuraksha had it 116-112, all for their 19-year-old countryman.

Manangquil protested the short round to Kim whose father Alan is WBA Asia chairman and a long-time boxing matchmaker in South Korea. Initially, Kim brushed aside Manangquil’s protest. “I watched the video on YouTube,” said Kim who was the fight supervisor at ringside. “All rounds in that video were around two minutes only. Someone might edit what he wants.” But GAB chairman Abraham Mitra took up the cudgels for Manangquil and wouldn’t let the issue rest.

Last week, Mitra met with Kiatniwat’s handler Niwat Laosuwanat of Galaxy Promotions to protest the apparent anomaly in Bangkok. “We discussed our protest,” said Mitra. “He agreed to a rematch with the help of referee Pinit.” The meeting was arranged by Thai matchmaker Naris Singwancha, president of the Professional Boxing Association of Thailand.

Kim later informed Manangquil that the WBA Asia has ordered a rematch within 180 days from when the fight was held last June 29. “In terms of your requested review, we received official opinion from the Thailand Boxing Commission (TBC),” Kim told Manangquil in a letter. “Through their investigation, the TBC confirmed the timekeeper’s ending bell was before the completion of three minutes in the seventh round. So, they took disciplinary action (against) the timekeeper about this issue. The timekeeper’s action in the fight violated our general rules and regulations.”

The GAB has launched a strong campaign to protect Filipino fighters in overseas outings and recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Japan Boxing Commission and the WBC Asian Boxing Council. The agreement with the WBC Asian Boxing Council was signed in Bangkok last week by WBC vice president Police Gen. Kovid Bhakdibhumi and Mitra. The MOU will make it standard practice for a fighter to receive approval from the GAB and the TBC to engage in a bout in the Philippines for Thais and in Thailand for Filipinos.

Enriquez’ last two wins were by first round knockout and his biggest victory was a fifth round stoppage of Indonesia’s Oscar Raknafa for the vacant WBC Eurasia Pacific lightflyweight crown in 2015. He has fought twice in Macau, once in South Africa and once in Hiroshima on the way to compiling a record of 13-7-1, with nine KOs. The hard-luck Misamis Oriental native has lost in bids for the WBC International flyweight title, the Philippine flyweight championship, the WBA International superflyweight belt, the IBO Intercontinental flyweight diadem and the WBF International flyweight throne.

Kiatniwat was stopped by Kazuto Ioka in an attempt to wrest the WBA flyweight crown in Kyoto last December and the setback is the only stain in his record of 17-1, with six KOs. Two of his knockout victims were Filipinos Wilber Andogan and Geboi Mansalayao. The WBA Asia was recognized to replace the WBA affiliate Pan Asian Boxing Association last February. It was formerly the WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council.

Photo: Michael Enriquez (L) and Stamp Kiatniwat (R) during the official weighin of their WBA Asia flyweight title fight last June 29 in Bangkok, Thailand.


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