Fans enjoyed an at times very exciting strawweight title fight earlier today in Thailand, this as defending WBC champ Panya Pradabsri, AKA Petchmanee CP Freshmart stopped Norihito Tanaka in the eighth round of a slugfest. The two little guys, who each have an exciting style where they throw a lot of leather, were boxing a rematch, Pradabsri having won a decision over Japan’s Tanaka last August in another good fight.
Today’s fight, though largely one-sided, had a lot of action and 38 year old challenger Tanaka, though outgunned, really did show a lot of heart as he was willing to go to war in order to try and win. It was round eight when local star Pradabsri got the finish, this when Tanaka’s corner entered the ring to signal surrender. 32 year old Pradabsri improves to 40-1(24) and he has now made four successful defences of the WBC 105 pound title. Tanaka, who really did give it a go, falls to 20-10(10). He has been stopped just twice.
It was a fast-paced fight right from the start, with Tanaka going right at the defending champion in the opening round. Pradabsri dropped Tanaka with a counter left hook, this with less than 30 seconds gone. Tanaka got up and he fought harder as the round whizzed by. Round two was also full of action, with both men having moments of success in what was shaping up as a great fight.
Round three looked like it could be the end for Tanaka, as he was hurt more than once, the champion driving the older man to the ropes and unloading, this getting the close attention of the referee. Tanaka, showing heart, got through the round. To his credit, Tanaka had a good fourth round, this as Pradabsri slowed a little, perhaps feeling the pace.
Round five saw Tanaka suffer a cut to the right eye, the blood flowing. Pradabsri was targeting the body with good success now. It was a fierce battle, but the defending champion had the superior firepower. Round eight saw Tanaka force himself on, this through Pradabsri’s big shots in an effort at landing his own. Tanaka, though, was drilled with too many shots, most of them clean, and his corner had seen enough. Tanaka, ever the warrior, would no doubt have liked to have gone out on his shield.
A very good action fight today, provided by the little giants of the sport, men who are so often in excellent if somewhat underappreciated battles.