THE more Wanheng Menayothin keeps winning, and stretching his pro boxing record, the easier it is to forget the hype and hullabaloo that soundtracked Floyd Mayweather reaching 50-0 last year against a mixed martial artist. And that, I’m sure we’ll all agree, can only be a good thing.
Today in Thailand, Menayothin increased his unbeaten run to 51 fights, thus overtaking Mayweather in the pantheon of unbeatens, and did so with a decision win against an unheralded Filipino called Pedro Taduran Jr. It was, like Mayweather’s against McGregor, a win never in doubt. Taduran, after all, was having his first fight outside his home country and boasted a modest 12-2 (9) pro record, hardly the stats to strike fear into a WBC strawweight champion, much less dethrone him.
In the end, the 32-year-old Menayothin stemmed the aggression of a man 11 years his junior by using his accurate right hand to keep him at bay. He figured Taduran’s left style early and never allowed him to grab a foothold in the contest. It led to a relatively one-sided fight, during which Taduran was dedicated points for low blows, and scorecards of 118-108, 115-111 and 117-110.
Thailand’s Menayothin, 51-0 (18), has now defended his current title ten times since winning it in 2014. He is yet to defend it against anyone of note – only two of his opponents, Oswaldo Novoa and Florante Condes, have previously held world titles – but if there’s one thing he has over Mayweather, aside from the obvious, it’s this: Menayothin has never boxed a mixed martial artist.
Good for you, Wanheng.
The World Boxing Super Series are going out with the old and in with the new for season two but have allowed a couple of their season one cruiserweight friends to stick around and have some more fun.
Mairis Briedis and Yunier Dorticos, the nearly men of the first season, have signed up to compete again in the WBSS cruiserweight tournament, which is good news for anyone who enjoyed watching the pair in season one semi-final fights against Alexsandr Usyk and Murat Gassiev respectively.
Briedis, the aggressive Latvian, fell agonisingly short in a fast-paced, competitive war with Usyk in January, while Dorticos, the hard-punching Cuban, pushed Gassiev all the way a week later, only to find himself stopped in round 12.
Now, having grown stronger from the experience, they’re both back for more.
Joining Briedis and Dorticos in season two of the cruiserweights will be: Noel Mikaelian from Denmark, who fights Briedis in the quarter-final, as well as Poland’s Mateusz Masternak, who meets Dorticos. As for the other two quarters, Krzysztof Glowacki, the former WBO champion from Poland, fights Maksim Vlasov of Russia, and another Russian, Ruslan Fayfer, tests American entry Andrew Tabiti.
Line-up in full:
Mairis Briedis vs. Noel Mikaelian
Yunier Dorticos vs. Mateusz Masternak
Krzysztof Glowacki vs. Maksim Vlasov
Ruslan Fayfer vs. Andrew Tabiti
And finally… Daniel Dubois, the 8-0 (8) heavyweight from London, today revealed he has landed in Russia to spar Alexander Povetkin.
The link-up works for both. For Dubois, it’s priceless experience, the opportunity to go rounds in the company of a former world title challenger and a 2004 Olympic gold medallist. For Povetkin, meanwhile, it’s a decent enough style match in preparation for his September 22 world heavyweight title fight against Anthony Joshua, and, just as important, he’s getting work with a British heavyweight four weeks before fighting one.
It will ultimately mean very little, of course. But for now, when looking to score points and win any mind game available, it certainly won’t do any harm having Joshua think Dubois, the man dubbed the next AJ, is making friends with the enemy. (It’s then you remember this is a fight, not a film.)
Landed in Russia with my coach Martin for sparring with Alexander Povetkin 🇷🇺🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/EHVaq43CUb
— Daniel Dubois (@DynamiteDubois) August 29, 2018