BANGKOK, Thailand — Japanese challenger Norihito Tanaka (20-8, 10 KO’s) of the Misako Boxing Gym in Tokyo has landed in Bangkok, ahead of his title rumble against Thai WBC minimumweight world champion Panya Pradabsri a.k.a. Petchmanee CP Freshmart (38-1, 23 KO’s), this coming Wednesday, August 31, in Korat, Kingdom of Thailand.
Fearless and confident, Tanaka was seeing at the airport proudly carrying his Hinomaru Japanese national flag, feeling honored to battle for his country in boxing in a world title match.
The clash of titans will be the 3rd title defense for the skilled 31-year-old Pradabsri (world's best minimumweight by BoxRec), who claimed the WBC minimumweight crown in November of 2020 by edging via unanimous decision then unbeaten 54-0 king Wanheng Menayothin (a.k.a. Chayaphol Moonsri), and decisioning him again in their rematch.
At the same time, the contest will be the 2nd world title chance for the 37-year-old Tanaka who would do anything to become champion of the world.
Two years ago, the aggressive, coming forward Tanaka tried to dethrone reigning WBA minimumweight super champion Niyomtrong Thammanoon (24-0, 9 KO’s), losing via unanimous decision by wide margins.
Interestingly enough, according to statistical data from Japan, no Japanese challenger has ever dethroned a Thai world champion in Thailand.
There have been 26 attempts since Japanese legend Fighting Harada lost his WBA flyweight belt in Thailand in 1963.
The referee in charge of the fight will be experienced WBC referee Malcom Bulner of Melbourne, Australia, who has already arrived in the Land of Smiles. Bulner has been a third man since 1970.
The panel of WBC judges include Dr. Thawuth Pluemsamran of Thailand and Hisatoshi Miyazaki of Wakayama, Japan
The world title show unfolding August 31 is a production of Thailand’s legendary boxing and muay thai outfit Petchyindee Boxing Promotions.
The author veteran boxing writer Carlos Costa of Panama can be reached at email@example.com and whatsapp +639184538152.