Thammanoon Niyomtrong Decisions Chayaphon Moonsri in Long-Awaited Bout!
At the City Hall Ground in Chonburi, Thailand, Thammanoon Niyomtrong known as “Knockout CP Freshmart” (24-0, 9 KOs) made the eleventh defense of the WBA ‘super’ minimumweight title against former long-reigning WBC champ, Chayaphon Moonsri known as “Wanheng Menayothin” (55-3, 19 KOs).
These two warriors are mainstays and have been considered elite fighters in the division for over a decade. Freshmart captured the title in June 2016 with a decision win over Byron Rojas. The 31-year-old has been fairly dominant throughout his title reign. However, in his last title defense, Freshmart got wobbled before regaining control and stopping Robert Paradero in five rounds in December 2021.
Menayothin won the WBC belt with a ninth-round TKO over Oswaldo Novoa in November 2014. He racked up twelve defenses, making headlines for his long unbeaten streak, which reached fifty-four fights. But in recent years it’s been a topsy-turvy life for him in and out of the ring.
He announced his retirement in June 2020 before deciding to un-retire the following day. Then a month later, Menayothin announced a major signing with Golden Boy Promotions, only to lose his title to countryman Panya Pradabsri by unanimous decision in November of that year. Two fights later, Pradabsri defeated him again in March.
In truth, Freshmart vs Menayothin should’ve happened years ago when both were world champions. But in their native country of Thailand, it was still a highly significant contest.
GAINING CONTROL EARLY
This one got off to a slow start as both fighters compete for the same promotional outlet and are familiar with their abilities. Therefore, in the first two rounds, they fought cautiously.
Rounds three through five saw the champ pick up the pace. He began to fight more on the front-foot, focusing on body shots. Menayothin tried to fight behind the jab and land with counter punches. But, his strategy was largely ineffective as Freshmart’s quicker hands and higher work rate proved to be the difference.
MORE OF THE SAME
The middle rounds followed a similar pattern to rounds three, four, and five, with the defending champ applying steady pressure and fighting more like the boss. Menayothin’s best moments of the fight took place in round eight as he got home with some nice left and right hands to the head, forcing CP Freshmart to fight on the back-foot.
A Menaoythin right hand near the end of the ninth round got the champ’s attention. But that was his last great moment of the fight. CP Freshmart regained control in the tenth and pulled away in the championship rounds.
In the end, the defending champ did enough on the judges’ scorecards and got the nod by a clear-cut unanimous decision (116-112, 119-109, 117-110). Overall, the fight was devoid of any great excitement. This was far from a thrilling, back-and-forth war. Instead, it was a respectful chess match.
Freshmart’s next fight could be against the WBA number one contender and ex-WBO/WBA ‘regular’ champ Vic Saludar. Another potential match is facing the winner of the upcoming contest between current WBA ‘regular’ champ Erick Rosa and IBF champ Daniel Valladares.
As for Menayothin, he’s clearly seen his best days. He briefly retired in 2020. At this stage of his career, it’s time for him to look in the mirror and contemplate once again calling it a day! This time, for good.
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By: Michael Wilson Jr.