By: Ken Hissner
This writer has been following the career of the WBC Minimumweight (105#) champion from Bangkok, Thailand, since he became 46-0.
I read little of him elsewhere but he deserves some recognition especially since he has surpassed both former world heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 and Floyd “Money” Mayweathers 50*-0. Yes there is an asterisk being next to the 50 for a reason. Beating someone 0-0 when you are 49-0 should have been considered an exhibition in this writer’s opinion.
Anyway, the champion Moonsri will be defending his title for the tenth time since winning it back on November 6, 2014 stopping Oswaldo Novoa, 14-4-1, for the title.
In addition Moonsri has won six non-title bouts. All 52 of his fights have been in his home country of Thailand. There are four Mini champions and one of them is also from Thailand is WBA champion Thammanoon Niyomtrong, 19-0 (7), who also has 9 defenses of his title. A match-up between him and Moonsri may prove to be most interesting.
The other two Mini champions are IBF Champion Dee-Jay Kriel, 15-1-1 (7), of Boksburg, South Africa who had his second title defense in February. He won the vacant title back in July of 2017 defeating Dexter Alimento, 12-1 (8), of the Philippines by decision.
Kriel had his first fight out of his country in his last defense that took place in the US.
Also there is WBO Champion southpaw Vic “Vicious” Saludar, 19-3 (10), of Cagayan de Oro City, in the Philippines. He made his first title defense in February. He won his title in Japan in July defeating Ryuya Yamanaka, 16-2 (5), of Japan by decision.
Of Saludar’s 22 fights 3 have been in Japan. So he seems willing to fight out of his country of the Philippines.
So you have two champions from Thailand, and one each from South Africa and the Philippines. A round robin tourney would be interesting.
Getting back to Moonsri’s fight on May 31st he will be defending against Japan’s Tatsuya Fukuhara, 21-6 (7), who is his No. 4 contender. This is a rematch of their November 2017 fight in which Moonsri took a decision win. Fukuhara has posted a pair of wins since.
The No. 1 contender in both the IBF and WBO is Samuel “Silent Assassin” Salva, 17-0 (10), of the Philippines. A future fight with WBO champion Saludar also of the Philippines could be in the works.
The No. 1 contender in the WBA is Mexico’s Jose “Tecuala” Argumedo, 23-4-1 (14). The No. 1 contender in the WBC for Moonsri’s title is Simphiwe “Chain Reaction” Khonco, 19-5 (7), of South Africa who has never fought out of his country. Odd he isn’t ranked in the IBF where fellow South African Kriel is the champion.
All eyes should be on Moonsri’s 53rd fight Friday for he is one of few fighters who have won 50 or more fights. Since they have all been beaten eventually Moonsri is still the record holder for now.