Nakhon Sawan, THAILAND -- Two of the world's top-3 fighters in boxing's lightest weight-class, the 105-pound division, have just easily beat the scale, both men looking strong and focused ahead of their much-anticipated WBC world-title rematch tomorrow, Tuesday March 29, in Nakhon Sawan, Kingdom of Thailand.
Thailand's WBC strawweight world champion Panya Pradabsri, a.k.a. Petchmanee CP Freshmart (37-1, 23 KO's), weighed-in at 105 pounds (47.64 kilos), while his compatriot and stablemate, former longtime 105-pounder king Wanheng Menayothin, a.k.a. Chayaphon Moonsri (55-1, 19 KO's), came-in at 104.5 lbs (47.46 kgs).
This exciting rematch - expected to be a highly competitive and technical clash - is a crucial war for the two elite boxers, a battle likely to unfold as close as their first contest which took place at the same venue two and half years ago.
In that first rumble, then challenger Pradabsri edged and dethroned Menayothin in one of the biggest boxing upsets for 2020. Panya narrowly besting Menayothin who was making his 13th world title defense.
Scored 115-113 (x3), the battle saw Panya Pradabsri not only putting a surprising end to Menayothin's 6-year reign, but also shattering his amazing unbeaten 54-0 record, numbers that at the time threatened Floyd's 50-0 mark.
For the shy, quiet Menayothin, the defeat was not only heart-breaking, but also unexpected.
As good as Panya Pradabsri is, most observers thought that Menayothin's superb quality and experience should get him through as the winner. That did not happen.
What transpired was in a way similar to WBC 108 ruler Kenshiro being dethroned by his unknown compatriot Yabuki; or Andy Ruiz claiming Anothony Joshua’s belts. Nobody expected those results. But they did happen, and are in the history books.
Will 31-year-old Pradabsri repeat his surprising win or will former king Menayothin, now 36, a former Muay Thai champ, known in Thailand as "The Giant Dwarf," find himself again in top form?
The interesting rumble airs live in Thailand on True4U TV Channel 24, with the action starting at 6 PM Thailand Time (UTC + 7).
The experienced WBC Ring officials for tomorrow's event include Dr. Thawuth Pluemsamran, Royal Thai Army Colonel Pongpan Rattanasutorn, Assistant Professor Visuth Yingaupagar, and Carlos Costa of Panama.
The WBC rules for the battle were explained by WBC executive Kevin Noone of Ireland, who conveyed the best wishes sent to the teams from WBC president Mauricio Sulaimán. The supervisor for the WBC is Royal Thai Army Colonel Thanapol Bhakdibhumi.
Pradabsri vs Menayothin is a production of veteran Thai promoter Piyarat “Tung” Vachirarattanawong of Petchynindee Boxing. Matchmaker is Panya Prachakorn.