Panya Pradabrsi Dominates Norihito Tanaka to Keep WBC Title!
At Nakhon Ratchasima in Thailand, Panya Pradabsri (39-1, 23KOs) defended the WBC minimumweight title for the third time against Japan’s Norihito Tanaka (20-9, 10KOs). Pradabsri burst onto the international scene in November 2020 when he defeated long-reigning champ Wanheng Meenayothin to win the title. Meenayothin came into the bout undefeated in fifty-four bouts. It was considered one of the upsets of that year.
Pradabsri has been dominant in two previous title defenses against Danai Ngaibphukhiaw in November 2021 and a rematch win over Meenayothin in March 2022. At age 31, the champ looks to be in his prime years.
Defense number three was against Tanaka, a replacement for Tsubasa Koura, ranked twelfth by the WBC. For Tanaka, this was his second world title opportunity. In his first attempt, he lost by unanimous decision to reigning WBA Super minimumweight champion Knockout CP Freshmart in March 2022.
Fighting in front of his home country, Panya Pradabsri put a one-sided thumping on Norihito Tanaka. The beginning of the fight saw the challenger, Tanaka, come forward, trying to apply pressure to the champion. Having had minimum success, he was quickly touched up by the champion, who shot a quick jab that was followed by overhand rights and left hooks.
As the fight went on, Tanka would continue to have very little success. While he did manage to land some nice body shots and right hands, it was nothing that bothered the champion. As for Pradabsri, he stayed in the pocket, picking off the shots of the overmatched challenger as he punished him with nasty left hooks. He even managed to sneak in a right and left uppercut. He also mixed things up as he boxed off the back foot while peppering Tanaka with his jab.
To sum things up, this was a fight where the champion did exactly what he wanted to do, when he wanted to do it. At the end of the twelve round bout, Pradabsri was announced as the winner. The scores were 119-109, 116-112 and 118-110.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR PANYA PRADABRSI?
With a third successful title defense behind him, he could possibly be tussling with #1 WBC contender Ginjiro Shigeoka (8-0, 6KOs) next. Shigeoka is being tabbed as Japan’s next big star. If that fight is indeed made, it would be by far a much more difficult fight.
By: Jerrell Fletcher