Philippines, 13 Apr 2024
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SADDAM TESTS EX-PACMAN FOE TODAY; WANTS TO SPAR WITH FILIPINO ICON


PhilBoxing.com




Surat Thani, Thailand--This country's hottest boxing prospect, the undefeated Saddam Kietyongyuth will defend his WBC-ABCO lightweight title today against Serikzhan Yeshmagambetov of Kazakhstan in what is expected to be a pier 6 brawl near the port area of the world-class island paradise named Phangan here.

Yeshmagambetov is best known as the last fighter to ever knock down the now legendary Manny Pacquiao in their 2003 battle at the Luneta park in Manila.

Saddam (16-0, 12 KO's), no doubt the most popular fighter in Thailand even if he has yet to win a world crown, is hoping a victory over Yeshmagambetov will move him closer to a unification bout with OPBF champ Randy Suico to erase doubts on who is the best lightweight in Asia outside of the Pacman himself.

Both Saddam and Yeshmagambetov easily made weight at yesterday's weigh-in held at the Thai International Hospital here.

Saddam's handler, promoter Daniel Potter, has indicated that he is willing to promote a fight between his ward and Suico in the Philippines or in Thailand. However, Potter is also open to the idea of bringing Saddam to the United States for further training, and possibly get a fight for his power-punching warrior.

The 25-year-old Saddam, who had more than 200 Muay Thai fights before turning pro, also indicated that he hopes to be tapped as a sparmate for Manny Pacquiao, who will be preparing for a May 2 bout with the hugely-popular Ricky Hatton.

"I want to spar with Manny. I know I will learn a lot from him, and I hope to be useful in his preparation for his next fight," Saddam said in fluent English, admitting that Pacquiao's victories has inspired him to work even harder.

"If Saddam continues to win, we hope to make him the Manny Pacquiao of Thailand. He just needs to put in the needed work," said Potter.

MORE THAILAND NOTES. Yeshmagambetov has extended his belated birthday greetings to his former conqueror Manny Pacquiao, whom he calls an idol. As proof of his deep pride in having fought the Pacman, until now he continues to have a video of the fight in his mobile phone, and proudly shows it to friends and acquaintances. "I feel special because I knocked down Manny Pacquiao. That was the day I knocked down the boxing god," said Yeshmagambetov, who was beaten by Pacquiao in the fifth round. He arrived in Thailand on the day Pacquiao celebrated his 30th birthday in Gensan...

Photo: Thai boxing sensation Saddam Kietyongyuth with his promoter/manager Daniel Potter (leftmost) and members of Team Saddam.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Salven L. Lagumbay.


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