1458388  Pungluang Sor Singyu will defend his WBO bantamweight title against Jetro Pabustan on Feb 12

The fight, initially scheduled for Jan 16, will be held in Nakhon Ratchasima, about 260km northeast of Bangkok. It will be the first defense for the Thai champion after winning the title for the second time with a second-round knockout of Ryo Akaho of Japan.

“Everything has been confirmed. We have moved back the date because we needed more time to finalise our sponsorship deals,” said Pungluang’s manager Pariyakorn Rattanasuban. “The fight will be held in front of Thao Suranaree monument in Korat [Nakhon Ratchasima].”

She added that the 26-year-old Filipino, ranked fifth in the 118-pound division, will not be an easy opponent for Pungluang. Pabustan’s record stands at 26 wins with seven knockouts and two losses.

Pariyakorn said: “Pabustan is left-handed and is very patient. He has never been stopped in his career. It will be an interesting but tough fight for Pungluang.”

Pabustan is challenging for the crown for the first time, but Pungluang is determined to make his first title defence a success.

The Thai had lost to Paulus Ambunda in Namibia in March 2013, only five months after stopping AJ Banal of the Philippines to win the vacant title.

Pariyakorn added that the winner of the fight will face Marlon Tapales of the Philippines in the mandatory fight.

Tapales stopped Shohei Omori in the elimination fight in Japan on Dec 18. Earlier, the Filipono was tipped to meet Pungluang but was ordered to take on Omori first.

“Surely, if Pungluang wins this bout, he must face Tapales in a fight in Thailand,” Pariyakorn said.

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Spirited Thai excites home fans with dominant two-round victory over Japanese fighter Akaho


Thailand’s Pungluang sor Singyu, left, in action against Japan’s Ryo Akaho. 

Pungluang sor Singyu stopped Ryo Akaho of Japan in the second round to reclaim the WBO bantamweight title in Ratchaburi yesterday.

In the fight for the vacant 118-pound division belt, the Thai did not waste his chance in the second round when he cornered and floored Akaho with a powerful right hook.

The stunning victory in front of his hometown fans made him a two-time champion.
In 2012, Pungluang, now 27, stopped AJ Banal in the ninth round to win the title, also for a vacant championship, in the Philippines.

“I am really happy and proud of myself, and to have made the fans happy,” said Pungluang after the bout.

“I promised them I would win the title and I did it.”

Pungluang is only Thailand’s third title holder at the moment with the other two being Amnat Ruenroeng (IBF flyweight) and Wanheng Meenayothin (WBC minimumweight).

Pungluang, who was stopped by Japan’s Tomoki Kameda in his second world title attempt last July, improved his record to 51 wins (31KOs) against three losses.

It was 29-year-old Akaho’s second loss and first by a knockout.

Pungluang’s manager Pariyakorn Rattanasuban said that she was relieved and happy to have another world champion.

“We made a lot of effort and spent more than 10 million baht to make the fight happen,” she said. “Pungluang deserves credit for his great win. He planned to study Akaho for four rounds but when the chance…

As the winner of a vacant title, Pungluang now has to face a mandatory bout in his first defence.

Pariyakorn confirmed that the fight will be held in Thailand.

“It will definitely take place in Thailand,” she said. “I have learned lessons from when he lost the title two years ago.”

After beating Banal in 2012, Pungluang flew to Namibia for his first and mandatory fight and lost to Paulus Ambunda.



Photos: M 150 OneSongchai

Bantamweight Pungluang Sor Singyu (51-3, 35 KOs) knocked out Ryo Akaho (26-2-2, 18 KOs) in round two to regain the vacant WBO bantamweight title on Friday in Ratchaburi, Thailand. This bout was for the title stripped from Tomoki Kameda after he signed for a “unification” match with “regular” WBA champ Jamie McDonnell.

Pungluang previously won the belt in 2012 against AJ Banal, but lost it in his first defense to Paulus Ambunda.



FIGHTING in Thailand for a world championship could be a huge risk for a promising Filipino fighter like AJ Banal because of the country’s reputation for hometown decisions.

But the thought of possibly winning a coveted world title crown is just too precious to pass, which has the 23-year-old Banal ready for the worst case scenario.

“Yes it can be a gamble but we just have to be prepared for whatever happens,” ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday of the possibility of his young ward fighting in Thailand.

Banal, who is No. 1 rated bantamweight by the World Boxing Organization (WBO), is fighting for WBO’s vacant 118-pound division belt against No. 2 ranked Pungluang Sor Singyu.

ALA Promotions is currently negotiating for the world title fight to be staged in the Philippines but One Songchai Promotions also wants the fight to be in Thailand.

“We are still working on it but the Thai promoter wants to promote the fight in Thailand too,” said Aldeguer. “It’s hard to say, it won’t be an easy negotiation.”

Banal, 27-1-1 with 20 knockouts, has been riding a 10-fight winning streak, which includes wins over respected fighters like Luis Alberto Perez and Cecilio Santos. Banal once fought for the interim World Boxing Association super flyweight crown in 2008 but he got knocked out by Rafael Concepcion in the 10th round.

Despite being just 24 years old, Sor Singyu is already a veteran of 42 fights in a span of over seven years. He has an impressive record of 41-1 with 26 knockouts. His only loss was in 2009, a split decision loss to Belgian fighter Stephane Jamoye. He has an 18-fight winning romp, wherein his last five were against Filipinos.

Wherever the fight will be held, may it be in the Philippines or Thailand, Aldeguer is sure of one thing, that this is Banal’s biggest chance to become a world champion.
“Yes it’s a winnable fight for AJ.”