REIGNING World Boxing Association (WBA) minimumweight champion Thammanoon Niyomtrong (Knockout CP Freshmart) of Thailand has been ordered to defend his title against No. 1 contender Rey “Hitman” Loreto of the Philippines in a mandatory title-fight.
WBA championship committee chairman George Martinez said the mandatory negotiations will begin April 17 and end on May 16.
“In the event an agreement is not reached, or if any of the parties expresses unwillingness to negotiate the championship committee may call a purse bid,” said Martinez.
Niyomtrong’s last mandatory bout was last June 29, 2016 and his next obligatory championship bout is past due from March 28, 2017. He retained his title via a 5th round knockout against Go Odaira last March 1 in Chonburi, Thailand.
The undefeated Niyomtrong (15-0, 7 KOs) is obliged to defend his title against the official contender every nine months from the date he became a champion.
“This is what every boxer has been waiting for which is to fight for the world title especially a mandatory fight” said Loreto’s manager Brico Santig of Highland Boxing Gym from La Trinidad, Benguet.
“The champion can’t elude the challenger,” Santig said.
Loreto’s promoter now is Lui Gang of China while his co-manager is Naris Singwancha of Thailand.
“But if there’s a support here in the country it’s much better to have it here so that our countrymen will be able to watch it also,” Santig said.
“We will know next week to confirm the offer from Thailand but we still have to discuss with it Naris Singwancha at Lui Gang before we will finalize everything,” said Santig.
Loreto has twice fought outside the country already for a world title in Montecarlo and South Africa.
“This is what I have been waiting for a mandatory. This is a big challenge for me. I will really train hard for this because this is a rare chance to have a fight for the world title,” said Loreto.
“I will not take my opponent lightly because he has the quickness and power. I will study his style,” said Loreto.
Loreto’s trainer Joven “JJ” Jorda thinks his boxer has a big chance against the current champion.
“May nakikita ako na chance sa laban na may panalo po kami. Gagawin ko din po lahat bilang trainer at ni Loreto na makuha namin ang titulo po,” said Jorda.
“Malakas din ang champion at marami na rin siyang tinalo na mga Pinoy at Thai boxers na hindi basta basta,” said Jorda.
“Pero gawin po namin lahat ni Loreto na makuha ang titulo,” said Jorda.
“Sana po ay matuloy na din ito kasi matagal na din namin inaasam na mapalaban si Loreto nang world title,” said Jorda.
Loreto (23-13-0, 15 KOs) is a former International Boxing Organization (IBO) world light flyweight champion. The native of Davao City previously stopped Rungrit Sor Visetkit in the 3rd round last August 19 in Bangkok.

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