Evergreen Pongsaklek Wonjongkam secured a unanimousdecision victory over the dangerous Edgar Sosa of Mexico to retain his World Boxing Council flyweight title yesterday.
Veteran Pongsaklek, in his second reign as world champion, faced a challenging third title defence, against the Mexican who held the international flyweight title.
But, the Thai, whose reign as lightflyweight champ lasted more than three years, made light work of an opponent two years his junior to record a welldeserved win, with three judges scoring it 116-111, 117-110 and 117-110.
The current flood crisis threatened a change a venue, but the bout took place at the 11st Infantry Regiment in Bang Khen district as scheduled.
With the two fighters taking opposing stances, it was the southpaw Thai who started stronger, landing a clear right hook to the Mexican’s face towards the end of the opening round.
Pongsaklek began to take control of the bout, connecting with right hooks and straight lefts that brought only sporadic responses from the No 1 challenger’s quick right hand.
Through the first four rounds, the Thai built a commanding lead on all the judges’ cards, but refused to take his foot off the pedal, throwing precision punches that arrowed in on their target.
The Mexican then staged a fightback at the beginning of the sixth round, catching the champion with his right several times. That success appeared to spur Sosa, as the 32-year-old continued to take the bout to the Thai in the seventh.
Pongsaklek, though, held firm in face of the increased pressure and reasserted his authority to stay ahead after eight rounds.
The Mexican then suffered a cut after clashing heads with the Thai in the clinch, resulting in the champion being deducted a point in the ninth. The incident clearly frustrated Pongsaklek but he was able to regain his composure to secure a deserved unanimous decision.
Pongsaklek, 34, revealed in the postfight interview that he had been certain by the midway point that he would win the fight.
“After five rounds, I knew I would win. His punches were not as hard as I expected. That might be down to the fact he moved up a division and made a long flight from Mexico to come here.
“In the closing rounds, he was visibly tiring, while I was still okay following good training preparation. I think I can fight on for at least two more years,” said the Nakhon Ratchasima native, who improved his record to 83 wins, three losses and a draw.