There is a new interim WBA world flyweight champion, and his name is Koki Eto (14-2-1). The 25-year-old from Japan defeated Kompayak "Fierce Tiger" Porpramook (50-5) on Thursday via unanimous decision in front of Porpramook's countrymen in Thailand.
This fight was action-packed.
Despite the home-field advantage, Eto's youth and reach were too much for the more experienced, stout Thai fighter. The fight was fought at a frenetic pace, and Eto seemed to clearly have more gas in the tank in the latter rounds.
Early in the fight, Eto set the tone by engaging Porpramook in spirited exchanges, and the young Japanese fighter got the better of many of them. Knowing he was competing in what equated to a road fight, Eto didn't rest on his seemingly obvious lead.
The fight had been competitive, and it was feasible that a few of the closer rounds could have been scored for Porpramook. Eto took the possibility of a controversial score out of the judges' hands by scoring a knockdown in the final round.
As it turned out, he needed it to secure the win. Per Boxrec.com, the judges scored the fight: 114-113 114-113 116-111, all for Eto. Without the knockdown, the outcome of the fight would have been up for grabs.
The loss has to be a painful one for Porpramook. Despite losing in front of the Thai faithful, he also dropped the interim strap he had earned in his previous fight with Jean Piero Perez. That fight had marked a return to facing top-flight competition after suffering a KO loss to Adrian Hernandez in Oct. 2012.
Porpramook had mowed down three nondescript challengers between the Hernandez and Perez bouts, but this loss—though the fight was epic—is a humbling one.
As for Eto, the future is bright for the young road warrior. He won a thrilling bout over a respected veteran fighter and should have some attractive options moving forward.
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