Masamichi Yabuki Grants Thanongsak Simsri His First Loss
At the City Gymnasium in Yokkaichi, Japan, the former WBC junior flyweight champion Masamichi Yabuki (14-4, 13 KOs) battled Thailand’s Thanongsak Simsri (24-1, 22 KOs) in a ten-round junior flyweight contest.
For Yabuki, it was his first outing since losing the title in a rematch against Kenshiro Teraji in March of 2022. They previously fought in September 2021, with Yabuki stopping Teraji in eleven rounds. That win was considered one of the upsets of that year. But in the rematch, Teraji flipped the script, stopping Yabuki in three. Following the defeat, the former champ contemplated retirement. However, the 30-year-old had a change of heart and has decided to continue his career.
He took on a Simsri who came into this fight regarded as one of the best prospects in Thailand. Ranked fourth by the WBO, the 22-year-old carried a reputation of being a big puncher and had breezed through his previous opposition.
TAKING HIM TO SCHOOL
After a feel-out first round, Simsri began to press the action in round two. It was also in this round where Yabuki found a home for his right hand. With thirty-seven seconds to go, Yabuki dropped Simsri with a counter right to the chin.
Round three through five saw the ex-WBC champ start to use his experience. He pumped out the jab and stepped around his opponent to set up combinations to the head and body. Simsri had no answers other than press forward, hoping to land power shots. But you could sense that he was getting set up for his eventual downfall.
Late in round six, another counter right stunned Simsri. A follow-up assault put him down for a second time. A minute into the seventh, a combination of punches badly hurt Simsri and put him down for the third time. That’s when the referee wisely stepped in and stopped the contest.
Overall it was a terrific performance from Yabuki. In the ring against an eager warrior, the former champ gave him a boxing lesson. Ranked twelfth by the WBC at junior flyweight, Yabuki hopes to fight for another world title at the higher division of flyweight.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.