Wednesday, March 22, 2023  |



Knockout CP Freshmart retains strawweight belt with bloody decision over ArAr Andales


Knockout CP Freshmart survived a determined challenge from AraR Andales before an accidental headbutt brought an early ending to the bout in round eight at City Hall Ground in Nakhon Sawan, Thailand.

All three judges had Freshmart ahead at the time of stoppage – 78-74, 77-75, 79-73 – allowing the Thai to retain his WBA strawweight title for the seventh time on Friday.

The fight was halted due to a nasty cut on Freshmart’s left eyelid – possibly the result of numerous head clashes before the stoppage though no replays of the butts were shown on the Thailand Channel 7 broadcast. Despite the verdict, the fight was far from settled, and Andales was coming on as the referee brought in the ringside doctor to examine the cut.

Andales (10-1, 2 knockouts), a 19-year-old from Northern Samar, Philippines came out strong early on, firing combinations at The Ring’s no. 1 rated 105 pounder. His jab opened up opportunities for his right hand and uppercuts to sneak through the defense.

Freshmart (20-0, 7 KOs), who is nine years older, had a worried look on his face in the second as he looked to slow down his energetic challenger with timed counter right hands. He began to get the better of the action in the third round, using his jab to the body to keep Andales in one place before firing power shots upstairs and drawing blood from Andales’ nose. Freshmart continued to land cleaner through the fifth as his superior strength and experience had their effect, though Andales never stopped coming and applying pressure.

Both fighters were warned for leaning in with their heads shortly before the first cut of the fight opened in round seven, this one on the right eyelid of Freshmart. The blood began to impact him negatively, and he began holding on more as Andales continued moving his hands and pushing him back.

A second cut opened up in the eighth, but was only discovered by the referee after they were separated when Freshmart grabbed Andales in a headlock and nearly pushed him through the ropes.

The fight was the first one abroad for Andales, who had turned pro two years ago and was fighting in just his first scheduled twelve rounder. Andales’ promoter Gerry Balmes disputed the technical decision, saying that the cuts were the result of punches.

“I know Knockout was definitely exhausted before the referee stopped the fight,” said Balmes.

“Also they know we were getting him during that round or maybe in the next round because Knockout is very exhausted, holding and holding, while our fighter is in the process to get him via KO.”