Thursday, November 1, 2012
Wonjongkam upset by unknown
By Dan Rafael
An upset loss to Rey Migreno could prove to be the end of the road for Pongsaklek Wonjongkam.
Time waits for no man, especially in boxing. The latest victim is former two-time flyweight titleholder Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, the Thai legend and probable Hall of Famer.
At 35, he seems just about done after being shockingly knocked out in the third round by sub-.500, supposed soft touch Rey Migreno (18-20-3, 16 KOs) of the Philippines on Wednesday in Thailand. It was the second knockout loss for Wonjongkam this year.
Wonjongkam (86-5-2, 46 KOs), who was unbeaten from 1996 to 2007, is not well known in the United States, but he is one of Asia's all-time best fighters.
During his first flyweight title reign from 2001 to 2007, he made a division-record 17 defenses before losing his belt in Japan to Daisuke Naito in a competitive fight. He fought to a draw with Naito in a bid to regain the belt in a 2008 rematch. In 2010, he won the belt for a second time and made four more defenses before being upset by Sonny Boy Jaro by sixth-round knockout in March.
That was a major upset even though Jaro is a good fighter with a ton of experience. But that upset is nothing compared to seeing Wonjongkam get drilled by a sub-.500 guy with no resume to speak of.
After the loss to Jaro, Wonjongkam won four fights in a row between May and September against very low-level opponents before being cut down by Migreno, who did a number on him.
Given Wonjongkam's age and the fact that he's had more than 90 fights, this is what happens.
Keep this in mind: Wonjongkam had already beaten Migreno twice before, drilling him in 97 seconds in July 2010 and winning a 10-round unanimous decision against him in 2007.
In Wednesday's fight, Migreno dropped him in the middle of the ring in the third round with a clean right hand and Wonjongkam looked a bit dazed and unsteady when he rose. The fight was allowed to continue -- briefly. Migreno walked right to Wonjongkam, who was on the ropes, and teed off with another dozen or so blows until he fell again and the fight was immediately waived off.
And with the referee waiving his arms, he might as well have also been waiving off Wonjongkam's career.