Fans witnessed a wild, at times furious battle in Thailand today, as local hero and reigning WBA minimumweight champ CP Freshmart (also known as Thammanoon Niyomtrong) scored a brutal one-punch KO over challenger Robert Paradero in the fifth round of a fight that could have been staged in the wild west! Making the 10h defence of his title (Freshmart also held the interim belt from 2014 to 2016), 31 year old Freshmart laid out his Filipino challenger with a crushing right hand to the head. 25 year old Paradero fell on his face, then got up too quickly and then fell all over the ring, the fight being waved off by the referee.
Freshmart is now 23-0(9). Paradero, who was stopped for the first time, falls to 18-2(12).
It was a good start from the younger challenger, as he bossed the opening two rounds with his aggression. The pace was a hot one and the defending champion had to come up with something to turn things in his favour. This he did in the third, when Freshmart dictated the action.
Then came round-four: and one of the wildest, craziest rounds of boxing we have seen this year.
No less than FOUR knockdowns were registered, three by Freshmart, one by Paradero. And the referee failed to acknowledge any of them! Three times Freshmart decked his challenger with rights hands to the head, yet each knockdown – each legitimate knockdown – was, incredibly, either not seen or was ruled a slip by the third man. Then, near the end of the round, Paradero landed with a shove and a punch, sending the champion down. (Check out the fight, or at least round-four now on YouTube!)
Then Freshmart scored with his big right hand in round five, this time leaving his challenger flat on his face. Paradero got up quickly, far too quickly, but his legs and equilibrium were in another orbit and he fell all over the ring, eventually being stopped by the referee; who this time could not possibly fail to see how badly hurt Paradero was.
It was wild, it was amateurish (on the part of the ref) but it was entertaining as hell. The little guys of the sport don’t get anything like the credit they deserve (if this one had been a heavyweight fight, fans everywhere would be screaming about it now, for a number of different reasons). Freshmart should be on everyone’s pound-for-pound list.
While round-four of today’s slugfest has to be in with a shot when it comes to this year’s Round of the Year trophies.