This Friday night at the Malvern Town Hall in Melbourne, Australia, WBA #2 ranked junior flyweight Randy “Razor” Petalcorin 20-1-1 (15) will take on Lookrak Kiatmungmee 7-6 (4) of Thailand in what could be the Filipino’s last bout before challenging for a world title.
The 22 year-old southpaw, who will be defending his PABA 108-pound regional title for the third time, comes with big raps from his native Philippines, including from the country’s most well-known and successful athlete. Fellow lefthander and six-division titleholder Manny Pacquaio predicted his countryman would be a future world titleholder when Petalcorin was still in his teenage years. And all things being equal, it looks like Petalcorin will get his chance to prove Pacquaio correct later this year.
Petalcorin has been utilising the services of top local trainer Mick Hargreaves in preparation for the Kiatmungmee fight. Training out of the BoxingFit Gym in Port Melbourne, Petalcorin has been getting quality sparring with Tanzanian-born flyweight Omari Kimweri and former Australian super bantamweight champion and amateur standout Mark Quon. Quon was also the primary sparring partner for WBC super featherweight champion Diana Prazak as she prepared for her successful world title defence against countrywoman Shannon O’Connell on 1 March this year.
Kiatmungmee, who unsuccessfully challenged Xiong Zhao Zhong for the WBC minimumweight world title in Manguan, China last November after accepting the fight on short notice, will be looking to spring the upset and steal Petalcorin’s lofty ranking with all four sanctioning bodies (WBC #11, WBA #2, WBO #9, IBF #8). A win for Petalcorin will put him in the box seat to challenge WBA interim 108-pound titleholder Alberto “Chiquito” Rossel 32-8 (13) later this year. The 36 year-old Peruvian veteran won the title in 2012 and has made four successful defences of the crown, with each fight extended the 12 round distance.
In the fight that Petalcorin considers his toughest to date, the General Santos City boxer turned in a dominant performance to win the PABA title in April 2012 with a wide unanimous decision win over Thai Olympian Samartlek Kokietgym after sending him to the canvas in the 3rd, 6th and 9th rounds.
In his first Australian assignment last November, Petalcorin’s punching power was again on display when he dropped well-travelled Thai journeyman Samransak Singmanasak heavily in the 2nd round with a searing left cross before closing the show with a savage body shot in the 3rd.
Fight fans can expect a similarly explosive performance on Friday night as this fit and focused world title contender looks to move on to bigger and better things.
In the main support bout, popular middleweight Michael Zerafa 14-0 (7) appears to have had a late change of opponent according to BoxRec.com, with Thai veteran and regular visitor to our shores Dechapon Suwunnalird 6-26 (2) being replaced by another Thai, Ekapob Poncharoen 7-1-1 (2). On paper, the new opponent would appear to be an improvement. But dig a little deeper and you will find that Poncharoen is a former flyweight who hasn’t fought for nearly 18 years. It is impossible to imagine any circumstances where this fight gets sanctioned, so let’s take an educated guess and call this Zerafa vs TBA.
Rounding out the card will be Manny Vlamis vs Kiatchai Singwancha at light heavyweight over 8, Terry Tzouramanis vs Jack Brubaker at junior welterweight over 8, Harmonito Dela Torre vs Andy Letding at lightweight over 8, Clint Alderton vs Brad Weaire at light heavyweight over 4 and Marcos Amado vs Eric Diamondstein at super middleweight over 4.
Tickets prices start at $50 for general admission and can be purchased by visiting http://petermaniatis.com/ or at the door on the night.