Undefeated Niyomtrong to Defend Title Against WBA #1 Rey Loreto in Thailand July 15
By Carlos Costa
08 Jun 2017
Unbeaten WBA Minimumweight (105 Lbs) World Champion Thammanoon Niyomtrong (15-0, 7 KO's) of Thailand is scheduled to make a mandatory title defense against tough Filipino former IBO world champion Rey "Hitman" Loreto (23-13, 15 KO's) on July 15 in Chonburi, Kingdom of Thailand
The champion Niyomtrong recently retained his title via KO win over Japanese challenger Go Odaira last March. Last year, he scored three successful world title wins.
In 2014 he registered five victories, not yet knowing what a defeat is.
NIYOMTRONG: FROM MUAY THAI CHAMPION TO BOXING CHAMPION
Climbing the ring often is the goal of Niyomtrong, who before becoming a world champion in boxing, was a fearsome Muay Thai champion, capturing all major Muay Thai championships in his weight class.
As a Muay Thai warrior, Niyomtrong was brutal and relentless. Then, his fighting name was Newlukrak Pagonponsurin, a name that inspired fear as his Muay Thai opponents knew that they were up against a seasoned, well-trained warrior with a killer instinct and an expert in the ancient Thai martial art of destroying enemies with both blows and kicks.
Now in boxing, success continues for Niyomtrong and the experienced combatant born in the northeastern Thai Province of Surin does not plan on slowing down.
As a boxer, Niyomtrong's most important boxing victories to-date are his two hard-fought battles against world-ranked Nicaraguan warriors Carlos "Chocorroncito" Buitrago (30-2-1, 17 KO's) and Byron "Gallito" Rojas (19-3-3, 9 KO's). All were unanimous decision wins, though by no means easy.
Now, his new new target is Loreto.
LORETO'S OWN QUEST FOR GLORY
Loreto, a tough, proven gladiator in victories and defeats, is far from being scared.
Nevertheless, one point stand out in the Niyomtrong vs Loreto war:
While its known that Niyomtrong keeps himself busy with challenge after challenge, Loreto hasn't seen any fight action since August of last year when he knocked out Thai rookie Rungrit Sor Visetkit in Bangkok.
Could a bit of ring-rust affect Loreto?
Hopefully not because the hiatus is of about a year and Loreto has kept himself in the gym. Though the last time he made 105 lbs was in March of 2015. That's why Loreto's long-time trainer Joven Jorda will have to bring him down again to 105 lbs fast and strong.
This showdown between these two 26-year-old 105-lbs fighters - who are indeed among the world's top 5 in the division - was originally intended to take place in the island of Mindanao in southern Philippines.
However, due to Martial Law in effect right now in that part of the country, the rumble will now roar in the homeland of the champion, the Kingdom of Thailand.
However, for Loreto, who is the WBA # 1 mandatory challenger, fighting in Thailand is no problem at all as he has already climbed the ring in Thailand seven times, scoring a win-lose record of 4-3 there.
By the way, Loreto's boxing record of 23-13, 15 KO's might not look so impressive. However, those who have seen him in the ring know that he is dangerous fighter with a lion's heart and the bulk of his loses came when he was still a newcomer in the sport.
LORETO'S BREAK THROUGH WIN
Loreto's breakthrough in his pro boxing career was his devastating knockout victory over then world ranked Wisanu Kokietgym to capture the PABA title and storm him into the WBA world ranking.
I remember attending that fight and witnessing Loreto's opponent unconscious flat on his back on the canvas several minutes after the contest was waived off.
That hot afternoon on top of the ring at the Chaleena Hotel in Bangkok, Loreto realized that he can really punch, and punch really hard. His blows can do damage, and I was lucky enough to be there to witness the exciting win.
Niyomtrong, who inside Thailand is also known as "Knockout CP Freshmart" (CP Freshmart is a nationwide convenient store chain), is handled by Thai veteran boxing manager Panya Prachakorn, while the southpaw Loreto by Highland Boxing Promotions of Filipino boxing man Brico Santig.
Santig, who has received the WBC Asian Boxing Council Promoter of the Year Award, has Loreto training in the Philippine high-elevation area of La Trinidad in Benguet Province, where Highland Boxing promotions is based.
The official presser for the Niyomtrong vs Loreto WBA title clash will be held on July 3 at the plush Prince Palace Hotel, in Damrongrak Road, Klong Mahanak, Bangkok.
And the final question is:
Will the unbeaten Thai champion Niyomtrong be able to dominate the Filipino Rey Loreto as he has done with all his prior opponents.. or.. will the tough, brave Loreto, good in winning against all odds, emerge victorious in Thailand to become world champion again?
We'll find out.
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