Tuesday afternoon at City Hall Ground in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, interim WBA minimumweight champion Knockout CP Freshmart (11-0, 6 KOs), from Surin, Thailand, retained his 105-pound title with a fourth round stoppage of formerly undefeated Alexis Diaz (16-1, 10 KOs), from Zulia, Venezuela.
Fighting out of the red corner in white trunks with red trim, Freshmart was defending the title he won on October 1, 2014, by decisioning Carlos Buitrago (27-0-1 at the time) at I-Mobile Football Stadium in Buriram, Thailand.
Diaz, fighting out of the blue corner in white trunks trimmed with gold, is a rangy fighter with an educated jab whose undefeated record speaks for itself.
Round one revealed both fighters’ weakness and strengths. Freshmart was giving up advantages in height, reach, and skill, whereas Diaz was up against a relentless come-forward fighter who was willing to take two shots to land one of his own.
Bobbing and weaving in an attempt to get inside Diaz’s long jab, Freshmart took a shot to the body to start the first. He responded with a nice lead right to the challenger’s face. Diaz countered with a right to the body followed by a hook to the head. Freshmart was dipping low, trying to get inside. Using the ring, managing to avoid Freshmart’s rushes, Diaz landed an uppercut, hook, and a right to the body. The champion had yet to find the range. The chllenger landed a 1-2 at the bell to win the first round.
Things began heating up in round two. Both fighters traded right hands. Diaz resumed moving around the ring. Freshmart pressed forward and connected with a lead left hook. A lead right right drove Diaz into the ropes. The champ landed a 1-2 and the challenger beat a hasty retreat. Freshmart had found the range. A right to the body preceded a left hook to the head. Diaz landed a short right through the champion’s guard. Freshmart countered with a four-punch combination—a jab, two rights, and a left hook to the body. These were punches with bad intentions. Diaz retreated to the ropes, where another left hook, this time to the head, forced him into a clinch. The two men were trading as the seconds ticked down. Freshmart connected with a right hand at the bell.
Diaz landed a 1-2 to start round three. Then he got on his bicycle. Freshmart chased him down and drove to the ropes. The fight was becoming less a championship boxing match than a bullfight. The matador, with his back against the ropes, ate several hooks to the head and body, while the bull continued to gore his opponent, including a 1-2 that caused Diaz’s head to swivel. The challenger moved back to ring center. Freshmart was bobbing and weaving like an Asian Jake LaMotta. He landed a left hook, a quick 1-2, a jab to the body, and a right to the head. The zip was gone from Diaz’s punches. He was slipping into survival mode and leaned on the ropes for support. Freshmart landed a right to the body, followed by a left, a right to the head, and another right to the body, which put Diaz on the canvas. He got to his feet before the count of 10, and the bell to end the round saved him, at least for the moment.
At the start of round four, Freshmart smelled blood and went for the kill. He landed three rights to the body. He landed a left to the head. Diaz’s legs were almost gone. He landed a 1-2 and scurried away. But the saying, “He can run, but he can’t hide,” applied to this fight as it has applied to many others. Freshmart caught Diaz with two rights to the body followed by left to the head. Diaz held on for dear life. The referee, Silvestre Abainza, broke up the fighters. Diaz was sliding along the ropes. Freshmart connected with a right. Diaz held again. The ref was watching closely. The champ landed a left hook to the body, followed by three rights to the body in quick succession. A combination knockdown/throwdown followed. Diaz again beat the count. He backed into the ropes and Freshmart exploded with 10 unanswered punches, the last of which, a left hook to the chin, put Diaz down for a third time.
The ref had seen enough and waved it off at 2:45.
It was an exciting fight. Knockout CP Freshmart is an exciting fighter. Hopefully he’ll face WBA World minimumweight champion Hekkie Budler in the not too distant future. But in the meantime, no matter who he fights next, I’m going to make it a point to tune in.
The complete fight between Knockout CP Freshmart and Alexis Diaz can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8hOe0qbU68&feature=youtu.be
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.