Thailand's Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym will face Cuba's Guillermo Rigondeaux on December 15 in a super bantamweight world title bout that is guaranteed to thrill and excite. While these two names might not be as mainstream as Marquez and Pacquiao, the talent and excitement level are in the same realm.
The only marked difference will be in the hype and promotion selling the fight, but the action inside the ring might just be better. They will test one another in Houston on the same card as Donaire vs. Arce, which also promises to be epic.
Kratingdaenggym has an impressive record of 48-2 with 33 knockouts and has mostly fought in his native Thailand.
He is fast, ferocious and fearless.
He has been a stalwart pound-for-pound leader over the past several years in the super bantamweight division. This co-main event showdown on HBO will be his biggest chance ever to showcase his skills and set up a massive showdown with the winner of Donaire vs. Arce.
The Thai fighter has worn the WBA strap and has far more pro experience than Rigondeaux. However, in his WBA world title loss to Japanese fighter Ryol Li Lee, he was made to look clumsy.
This could be an even bigger problem against the WBA's current 122-pound champ, Rigondeaux. The 2000 and 2004 Olympic gold medalist is a technically sound boxer with impeccable skills. He will prove a difficult challenge for the Thai brawler.
Guillermo Rigondeaux is among the list of rising names (joining Keith Thurman, Adrien Broner, Gary Russell Jr. and fellow Cuban and friend, Yuriorkis Gamboa) to take over the reins as the elite of boxing.
He is 32 years old, which means his time to arrive is now. This fight and a superfight with either Donaire or Arce will segue perfectly into mainstream stardom for him. A pro record of 11-0 and 8 knockouts does not represent his boxing pedigree. His profound talent is best voiced by his exhausting list of amateur achievements.
In his last fight, he slowed his momentum by delivering a conservative display of his superior boxing skills, which was anticlimatic after his three prior bouts had produced electric knockout wins. Those performances lent to his name an air of excitement and curiosity.
On the 15th of December, he will have a game opponent aggressively pressing the action with pride and legacy at stake. Kratingdaenggym's style will engender an opportunity for the Olympian to brand his vowel-saturated name upon the boxing world.
With so much on the line, expect the slick, promising Cuban to impress dramatically against a game Kratingdaenggym.
It might not be easy to say their names, but it is very easy to say that these two 122-pound stars will produce an amazing show. The lighter weights consistently produce more dramatic fights with a better expression of technique and skill—yet with a significant misrepresentation of fanfare—than their heavier colleagues.
Arce and Donaire are prime examples of what dynamite can explode in this weight class. All four of these combatants will treat the world to an exciting night of fights on December 15th. The event also builds drama for the superfight between the two winners.
The potential is there for a return to the Fab Four days (of Hagler, Hearns, Leonard and Duran), when the division's best fought one another in classic battles.