Issue of June 18, 2017
     
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Loreto guns for WBA belt vs undefeated Thai champ
by Harley F. Palangchao

Undefeated Thai boxer and World Boxing Association minimum weight champion Thammanoon Niyomtrong has finally accepted the mandatory challenge to defend his title against Benguet-based Rey Loreto.

The world title between Loreto and Niyomtrong, who has a ring name of Knockout CP Freshmart, will take place on July 15 in Chonburi, Bangkok, Thailand.

The 26-year-old Loreto who fights out of Highland International Boxing Gym in La Trinidad, Benguet is the number one challenger for the WBA minimum weight title.  At a young age, he has 23 wins with 15 coming by way of knockout against 13 losses.

Loreto has improved his boxing record since moving from Davao City to La Trinidad. It was during his stint with Highland Boxing that he won the International Boxing Organization World light flyweight and improved his winning streak to eight.

The southpaw boxer has already started his high altitude training in Benguet, according to Highland Boxing Gym manager Brico Santig.

“This is a great chance for Rey because he has been training hard even if his prize money from his fight two years ago has not been paid up to now,” Santig said, reminding that the South African promoter has not paid the P2 million purse of the journeyman from the south.

Earlier, WBA President Gilberto Jesus Mendoza summoned the camp of Thammanoon informing that a mandatory negotiation with Loreto’s camp is required for the WBA minimum weight division.

Based on WBA Rule 11, champions must defend their title against the official contender every nine months from the date they become champions.

Thammanoon’s obligatory championship bout is past due on March 28 since his last mandatory bout on June 29, 2016 against Byron Rojas, who has 17 wins, two losses, and three draws.

The 26-year-old Thai champion is undefeated in 15 professional bouts. He has defeated some of the finest boxers in Asia, including Nicaraguan Carlos Buitrago, who has 30 wins, two losses, and one draw.

 
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