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Thailand's Teeparith Kokietgym Unifies WBA super flyweight Title with Filipino Help

YOKOHAMA, Japan -- Thailand's Tepparith Kokietgym impressively defeated brave Nippon warrior Tononobu Shimizu by technical KO at the 2:15 seconds mark of round nine Tuesday night to become the new WBA unified super flyweight world champion here in Japan, an awesome feat that the spicy Thailander achieved with the help of two Pinoys: Jilo Merlin and Dayer Gabutan.

During the weeks of rigorous training, Tepparith and his manager Mr. Kokiet Panichayarom put their trust on the talented Dayer Gabutan and the young Jilo Merlin to be the sparring partners to help world champion Tepparith Kokietygym in the long vigorous conditioning sessions required to get the Thailander in the best shape of his life for such important title combat in the land of Japan.

The contact of Tepparith team and the Pinoys was made through active young Filipino matchmaker, the WBC Asian Boxing Council promoter of the year Brico Santig of Baguio. The choice of sparring partners was a perfect one as the very professionals Dayer and Jilo flew to Thailand to deliver an excellent work.

The serious Pinoys worked well with Teeparith Kokietgym and the three boxers understood and helped each other during the weeks of intense physical and technical training, proving again how close and fraternal is the boxing friendship between the Kingdom of Thailand and the Philippines.

Interestingly enough, Teeparith and his manager Mr. Kokiet did not ask for the help from fellow Thai boxers.

Instead, the smart and careful Mr. Kokiet, owner of the Kokiet Group, one of the most successful and active boxing promotional companies in the Kingdom, preferred the two good committed Filipinos. It turned out that Mr. Kokiet was right as Teeparith good in great shape and was a dynamo in Yokohama.

Shimizu could not handle the pressure and good technique from this wasabe kid from Thailand.

From the beginning of the battle, the shorter Tepparith was the fighter of initiative and aggressiveness, making good use of his fast hands, power, boxing skill and endless stamina to stalk and corner Tomonobu Shimizu, who had no effective weapons to use against the Thai bull constantly charging.

The first few rounds were all won by Teeparith, who in the fourth chapter caught Shimizu with a great combination that rocked the Japanese. Shimizu got hurt and nearly went down.

Tepparith indeed staggered his foe and this time the bell might have saved the Japanese.

In the next round Shimizu tried to box at a distance to avoid close combat, but without success.

Reason: Teeparith was successfully cutting the ring of Shimizu reaching him with damaging shots. But the Japanese was brave as the war ragged on. The young Thailander kept on scoring crushing violent hands that were fast undermining the tough warrior from Japan Tomonobu Shimizu.

At the beginning of round six it apparead as if Shimizu intended the tactic of using Teeparith's aggressiveness with counter. The Japanese waited for the incoming Teeparith to dish out artillery for him to counter strike with even more force. The strategy did not work out.

Shimizu did not know how to use the art of counter attacking, a brilliant technique not easy to perform. A fighter must be sublimely talented like Juan Manuel "Dinamita" Marquez, Jorge Lujan or Gerry Penalosa to counter attack effectively.

The battle was becoming a nightmare for Shimizu and his head coach as no tactic seem to work. Only his big heart and the clamor of his people kept Shimizu going through the roughest seas he has ever sailed.

"Shi mi zu, Shi mi zu, Shi mi zhu!!!" was being heard loudly throughout the Yokohama Areana and the Japanese tried with brave heart to fight off Tepparith to no avail as the Thai soldier was already the kumander in this battle.

More brutal blows were poured down onto Shimizu's minced body and reddish face. Especially Tepparith's left hook was right on target scoring neatly all over the Japanese born in the northern central coastal city of Fukui. This Shimizu was the same Japanese fighter who last year stunned the boxing world by defeating "El increible" warrior Hugo Cazares of Mexico.

But this time the story was so different.

Shimizu was the taller of the two and at the weigh-in and even appeared to be physically stronger than Thai, but fans and scribes alike have been witnessing that the constant effective pressure from Teeparith accompanied by his better boxing skills have already weakened the Japanese till the arrival of the ninth round, meant to be last chapter of the combat.

By the beginning of the round, Teeparith threw more huge combinations that staggered Shimizu. The Japanese was already too exhausted and affected by the intensity of the previous eight installments.

Then, with his characteristic fast aggressiveness Tepparith harassed his opponent brutalizing him with BIG lighting blows delivering a calvary leather while pinning Shimizu against the ropes castigating him with a severe relentless non-stop attack.

The image above shows the final seconds of the fight in which Teeparith heads onto Shimizu who was backing away and end was seconds away.

Teeparith celebrates with his team headed by Kokiet Panichayarom (in coat and tie) after the victory.

The champion poses with the author.

The Japanese received one final unmerciful bombardment.

Shimizu has never felt anything like this before. He could not respond and he could not protect himself... until merciless New Zealand referee Ferlin Marsh, finally took pity on the Japanese and stopped the action, detention which indeed came a bit late.

Was is necessary for so much punishment?

From the point of view of this author, the third man Ferlin Marsh, and official of more than 10 years in the boxing business, could have stopped the needless beating when it was obvious that the brave Shimizu could no longer defend himself. But he didn't do it. Instead, Marsh acted as distant unconcerned spectator witnessing a primitive act reminiscent of the violence in the old Roman Coliseum.

Hopefully, referee Ferlin Marsh, would take a look at the video of this brutal KO and in coming fights would be encouraged to stop an unnecessary savagery. He should learn from top world referees like Bruce McTavish or Silvester Abainza, men who time and time again put the safety of boxers first.

For the good of our sport of boxing, we pray that Marsh would be more human next time. After all, boxing is a still a sport.

With this resounding victory, Teeparith Kokietgym (20-2, 13KOs), who was a Muay Thai warrior, proclaimed himself as the brand new WBA unified super flyweight world champion.

Teeparish Kokietgym is still in Japan to attend the title fight of his stable mate friend Terdsak Kokietgym who will have the tough assignment of challenging WBC super featherweight world champion Takahiro Ao tonight here in Tokyo.

From Japan, the victorious Teeparith sends through PhilBoxing his regards to his Filipino friends Dayer Gabutan and Jilo Merlin who helped him during all those hours of sweat that helped the young Thai achieve the greatest victory in his life.

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Carlos Costa.

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