Lumpini Champions Kriekkrai report
After all the hype and build up it was finally time to get the action underway on the 5th of September, with a strong line up made up of fights requested by the fans, that saw a big crowd come through the gates.
There was a lot of expectation riding on the show, with numbers having been lower than hoped for the new stadium due to a number of factors, but the line up didn’t disappoint, proven by the large crowd turning up, it was down to the fighters now to prove worthy in the ring.
The opening fight for the vacant Lumpini Mini-Flyweight title got the show off to a great start with a classic puncher vs knee fighter bout between Wanpichit Minayothin and Ongri Sor Dechapan. The early rounds saw Wanpichit testing Ongri’s chin with some fierce shots and working over his legs with stinging low kicks. Ongri never looked troubled though and eventually wore down Wanpichit with solid knees and took the fight by a clear points decision at the end, becoming one of the few fighters to have held both Lumpini and Ratchadamnern titles simultaneously.
Next saw two fighters with strong K.O power in the hands that on paper looked a strong possibility for an inside the distance win. Most promoters want close, back and forth fights, essential for gamblers to be able to bet on the fights and likely to see them return to the next show. This fight was as one sided as it gets though, with Jomhod choosing not to slug it out and instead pick off Pichitchai with fast counters and make him miss and frustrate him with some sublime movement. At one point in the third Jomhod dropped his hands as Pichitchai opened up with about 6 hard punches, but Jomhod slipped and rolled under every shot, drawing a loud round of applause from the crowd. Pichitchai never stopped trying for the K.O, but Jomhod was on another level though and took a clear win, although not the close fight the fans wanted, his skills a joy to watch.
The third fight saw Denpanom Rongriankilarkhorat face Sittisak Petpayathai. This was a very close fight for the first four rounds as both landed with sharp kicks and traded solid knees. Sittisak fought more as he counter fighter of the two, looking to pick off Denpanom as he came in. The final round started very close, but a short way in Sittisak landed with three hard, sharp knees in the clinch and Denpanom seemed to gas up, conceding defeat to Sittisak.
Fight number four on paper had potential to be a thriller, but no one expected it to be as good as it was. The veteran Wanchalong PKSaenchaimuaythai gym defending his Lumpini Super-Flyweight title against Chaisiri Sakniranrat, with Chaisiri, the current Ratchadamnern champion, looking to follow Ongri’s early example and become dual Stadium champion. The opening round saw both open up with some hard shots, but still no one expected the wild action in the next round. A short way into the second round Chaisiri opened up with some hard punches hurting Wanchalong, the referee stepped in to give Wanchalong a count, but Chaisiri in the heat of he moment followed in and tagged Wanchalong again. After the count Chaisiri came in for the kill, while the crowd berated the referee for not stopping Chaisiri from following in. Just as Wanchalong looked like he would fold again, he threw a desperate spinning back elbow that sent Chaisiri down for a count. Just when it looked like that was it for the round Chaisiri connected with a hard straight punch right on the bell sending Wanchalong down for another count. It looked a tall order for Wanchalong at the start of the third, but he possesses one of the biggest hearts in the game and pushed forward scoring with some hard kicks and knees in the second half of the round, roared on by the crowd. In round four Wanchalong refused to give in again, marching forward and a short way into the round trapped Chaisiri in a corner and fired in two hard body kicks, sending Chaisiri to the canvas in agony. The roar from the crowd almost lifted the roof of the stadium as Wanchalong completed as dramatic a comeback as you could ask for.
Saensatharn Sor Suradet defended his Lumpini Super-Lightweight title next against the veteran Sindam Kiatmuu 9. This was another action packed fight with Saensatharn not taking a backward step for he whole five rounds as he pushed forward looking to wear down Singdam with hard knees. Singdam landed trough bout with his trademark, heavy right legs though to take a very close decision win at the end.
Panpayak Jitmuangnon defended his Lumpini Bantamweight next against Prajantchai PKSaenchaimuaythai gym. Panpayak had to give Prajantchai a one pound weight advantage at the morning weigh in. Prajantchai looked to try and force fthe fight throughout as Panpayak looked to just sit on the ropes and look for counters. Prajantchai’s determination and work rate payed off as he started the final round ahead. Panpayak finally pushed forward, but it was too little too late as Prajantchai countered back throughout the round with hard right body kicks and took a clear win at the end.
Pakon PKSaenchaimuaythai gym defended his Lumpini Lightweight title against Sagetdao Petpayathai next. This was probably the low point of what had been a very entertaining show so far, as Sagetdao looked very flat, unable to land with anything that looked like it would turn tthe fight his way. Pakon looked in total control throughout and took a clear win in a fight that was probably a lot easier for him than what he expected.
The main event saw two of the sharpest technicians in Superbank Mor Ratonabandit and Thaksinlek Kiatniwat put on a classic, chess match of a fight for Superbank’s Lumpini Featherweight belt. The bout lacked much of he violent intensity of some of the earlier battles, but was an intriguing battle of wits, with some razor sharp countering from both. Thaksinlek held the lead from the third round onwards, but Superbank turned the fight around with a sharp kick with less than a minute to go, snatching victory away from Thaksinlek, in a very close fight.
After the main event the fight of the night was announce and to no surprise the trophies went to Wanchalong and Chaisiri, with Wanchalong getting a second trophy for boxer of he night.
With a huge crowd in attendance and some filling fights, the showed should be considered a success and more nights like this should see an upsurge in fortunes for the new stadium.