Which minimumweight champion will step up for a unification
The minimumweight division is a deep pool of talent and mouth-watering match-ups. However, the division has lacked a big unification fight for an incredibly long time. It is high time for one of the champions to make a push for a unification fight.
One name some fans recognize in the minimumweight division is former WBC champion Chayaphon Moonsri aka Wanheng Menayothin (54-1, 18ko). The former champion is undefeated in 54 fights, toppling the self-proclaimed “The Best Ever” Floyd “Money” Mayweather’s undefeated record of 50-0. That was until fellow Thailand fighter Panya Pradabsri (36-1, 23ko) brought all that to an end in a shocking upset. He defeated Menayothin in November 2020.
MEET THE CHAMPIONS
WBC champion Panya “Petchmanee CP Freshmart” Pradabsri, as previously stated, won the belt from Menayothin in a major upset back in 2020. It is unknown if the rematch will happen, but for right now he has a seat at the table. Dropping literally out of nowhere, he seized the moment in the most important fight of his career.
IBF champion “Mighty Mouse” Rene Mark Cuarto (19-2-2, 11ko) shocked the world by defeating fellow Filipino fighter and then-IBF champion Pedro Taduran (14-3-1, 11ko) back on February 27. Ironically, Taduran lost the title in the same fashion which he won the championship against a fellow countryman in the Philippines. Cuarto’s victory has shaken things up a little bit. Now the division has two new champions and hopefully a unification could be coming soon.
WBO champion Wilfredo “Bimbito” Mendez is a 24-year-old Puerto Rican fighter with a record of 16-1, 6 KO’s and is one of the more talented fighters in the division. Mendez captured the title by defeating then-champion Victorio “Vicious” Saludar in August 2019. He has made two successful title defenses and is the second longest-reigning champion in the division.
WBA champion Thammanoon Niyomtrong aka Knockout CP Freshmart (21-0, 7ko) is considered by pundits to be the best fighter in the division, hands down. Freshmart is the longest-reigning champion, capturing the title against Byron Rojas back in June 2016. It has been the dream of the boxing community to see him and rival countrymen Menayothin fight. However, the former WBC champion’s defeat has now put a damper on things.
The last unification bout in this division was back in June 2012. Then-WBC champion Kazuto Ioka defeated WBA champion Akira Yaegashi. Ioka vacated both titles shortly afterward and moved up to junior flyweight. The division has been in dire need of a major unification fight, and boxing should demand someone take a step forward.
By: Garrisson Bland