Mijares stops Sasakul: The Age Factor

mijaresBy Ted Sares - I started in Muay Thai when I was seven years old and I was fifteen or sixteen when I started boxing…fighting is something I’ve done all my life. - Sasakul

I first saw WBC champion Christian "El Diamante" Mijares (34-3-2, 13 KOs) fight in 2007 when he schooled the very talented Jorge Arce over 12 rounds. I then watched him beat slick Jose Navarro in February 2008 in a battle of two crafty southpaws. The decision was a split one and perhaps the most bizarre I have ever witnessed. Judge Chris Wilson had it 115-113 for Mijares while judge Adalaide Byrd scored it a more accurate 117-111. However, Doug Tucker scored it 108-120 giving the badly bleeding Navarro every round. Bizarre is not a fitting word to describe this inexplicable scoring..

The technically skilled Mijares, showing defensive skills that were eye-popping and a punch volume that was off the charts, systematically outpointed Navarro (whose own punch volume was superhuman). In the process, "El Diamante" sliced him up like an Easter Ham. Jose was badly cut over the right eye and his left eye was totally closed. Yet he “won” every round on one judge‘s card! Punch volume is one thing; punches connecting are quite another.

Alexander Munoz

After beating tough Venezuelan Alexander Munoz, 32-2, in May, the 26 year old Mijares was scheduled to fight the legendary Chatchai Sasakul, age 38, on August 30, 2008. The fight was held in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico and at stake were the WBC and WBA super flyweight titles.

Chatchai Sasakul (aliases Chatchai Singwangcha and Chatchai Dutchboy Gym)

This highly skilled but aging Thai fighter was 64-3 coming in with a twelve-fight win streak. But one of those 12 wins included the fateful fight with Lito Sisnorio in March 2007 in which Sisnorio died from injuries sustained in this fight. Tellingly, Sasakul’s next four wins against inferior opposition came by way of decision despite his 60% plus KO percentage going into those fights. Over his long career that began in 1991, he had wins over Ray Llagas (twice), legendary Yuri Arbachakov (Yuri’s only loss), Yong Soon Chang, Young-Jin Kim, Juan Domingo Cordoba, and Ysaias Zamudio. His three losses were to Kuniyuki Aizawa, Manny Pacquiao (against whom he had won six of the seven rounds before losing focus and being iced), and the aforementioned Arbachakov

Mijares vs. Sasakul

Whether it was age or something else, this one was a no contest as the Mexican slickster rocked the Thai in the first round and then floored him in the second and third rounds en route to a 3-round TKO win. In so doing, he kept his dream alive for a unification fight with Fernando Montiel, or even a potentially super exciting matchup with Vic Darchinyan with three titles at stake..

As for Chatchai, he has not beaten a world class opponent for over a decade. The time has come to assess career options.

Article posted on 01.09.2008

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