WBA #4 Thepparith Singwancha (16-2, 10 KOs) exceeded the expectations of the crowd and others when he won a close but clear decision over formerly undefeated Drian Francisco (20-1-1, 16 KOs) to capture the WBA interim 115 lb title on Labor Day at Benjamatheputit School in Petchburi, Thailand.
This was an impressive victory for the 22-year-old Thai fighter who jumped from flyweight division. In the first two rounds, it seemed not so difficult for Francisco to retain his title as he effectively launched counterpunches to frustrate the Thailander’s aggression. The tide was turned in round three as Thepparith speeded up his assault and weakened the champion with his vicious body attack and then successfully dropped dropped Francisco with a well-time left hook to the head. Francisco back on track in round four, using his uppercuts to deny Thepparith’s offense. Thepparith took control again in round five and six, blocking the Filipino’s uppercuts and tirelessly landing good combinations on his foe, especially efficient bodyshots. Also, a right hook at the last minute of round six dropped the Filipino again but referee Ramos ruled it a slip. From round seven, the Thai fighter looked more confident, excitingly exchanging punches with the Filipino in a close affair over second half. It seemed that Thai fighter clearly dominated in round eight, ten and eleven while the now former champion did better in round seven and twelve. Certainly, it was not enough to retain his prestigious belt.
Scored: Francisco Martinez (New Zealand) 114-113, Raul Caiz Jr (USA) 114-113, Takeshi Shimakawa (Japan) 117-111. The referee was Rafael Ramos from Texas and WBA supervisor was Alan Kim from Korea.
With his loss today, Francisco blew his chance to unify the WBA super flyweight title against Hugo Fidel Cazares. On the contrary, Thepparith became a new Thai hero who is the third Thai to win the WBA super flyweight crown following to Khaosai Galaxy and Yokthai Sithoar. His promoter, Kokiet Panichyarom of Kokiet Group Promotions, said that he will stage a voluntary defense of Thepparith soon.