From the western perspective, Thai fighters can be maddeningly frustrating to rate or talk about since they represent the exotic, largely unseen Asian boxing world with incomprehensible foreign names primarily fighting unknown Asian journeymen in tiny weight classes unfamiliar to most of the world.
Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym is one of the best of those Asian practioners, owning a 41-1, 29 KO record as the #1 ranked superbanty in both the Ring and Boxrec ratings.
Toshiaki Nishioka of Japan might quarrel with that being being #2 in both rankings, but alas, we have to wait for for the Ring championship match where the winner of #1 vs #2 is awarded the prestigious Ring Belt as it should be.
So the few hardcore aficionados will have to make do with with PK defending his WBA title against one Ryol Li Lee of Japan, a prime career featherweight who is moving down 4 lbs for his first title challenge. This will be PK’s 4th fight outside of Thailand, the others being in Hamburg, Germany, Dublin, Ireland, and Tokyo, Japan where he returns Saturday.
This should be pretty much a gimmee defense for PK since Lee has nowhere near the experience of class. I’ve learned though that you can never dismiss Japanese fighters so easily as they have a proud boxing tradition to call upon and this is a high profile Japanese fight. I expect Lee to give it his all and more, maybe much, much more.
Toshiaki Nishioka has a much more difficult task ahead of him on paper. He will be defending his WBC title against a prime, extremely strong up and comer, the British hope, Rendall Munroe on the 24th of October. If he makes it past Munroe and PK is successful, it seems natural that the Ring Championship should be next in the Tokyo queue early next year.
This is boxing however, and sometimes the best bouts simply don’t get made because of a myriad of politics and nationalism.
We can always dream and hope for the best however, so if you can catch the Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym title defense in Japanese time or catch the replay, it might be well worth it to see a top Thai fighter in action.