Thai up-and-comer Phoobadin Yoohanngoh is one to keep an eye on
The future looks bright for the Thai teenage sensation Phoobadin Yoohanngoh, who fights under the pro boxing alias Sangarthit Looksaikongdin, is already ranked (No. 9) by the WBA in the 140-pound division.
Yoohanngoh, who is 19 and the current holder of the WBA Asia belt, comes from a family of fighters. He and his 14 siblings train out of their father’s gym in the garden of their home in the Minburi district on the outskirts of Bangkok. Yoohanngoh made his professional debut in 2018 when he was just 14 years old and has since built up a record of 18-0 (10 KOs).
Eighth defence of WBA Asia 140-pound weight title
Over the weekend Yoohanngoh took on Vanlalawmpuia (6-3-1, 4 KOs) who comes from Aizawl, India. On paper the fight looked like a mismatch but just five months ago the two fought 10 heated rounds. In a closely contested fight, Yoohanngoh earned a unanimous decision by scores of 96-94 and 97-93 (twice), but many believed that Vanlalawmpuia had done enough for the win.
On Saturday, July 1, the two squared up at Space Plus Arena in Bangkok, Thailand where Yoohanngoh defended his title once more against his tough foe.
The fight was explosive and entertaining. There was no feeling out process with the two going at it from the get-go. Vanlalawmpuia looked to stay on the front foot throughout the fight. Both men kept catching each other on the inside with strong thudding left hooks. Yoohanngoh looked like he was just trying to find the right distance in the early rounds and after having found his perfect distance, worked behind a beautiful jab. Once he found his rhythm and distance, he controlled the fight but Vanlalawmpuia kept coming and still had his moments landing big shots on the Thai champion.
Towards the second half of the fight Yoohanngoh attacked the body, firing a sharp left hook to the ribcage. The tactics appeared to slow the Indian fighter down but it was impressive to see the 26 year old coming out fresh after each round. He looked to be in fantastic shape. In the end it was Yoohanngoh who took home the UD win by scores of 98-92 and 99-91 (twice).
The Thai champion made some smart adjustments and showed versatility by fighting on the inside and boxing from a distance. Both fighters showed incredible heart and chin with no knockdowns scored in the exhilarating bout.
After the fight I talked to the champion’s promoter and manager Mr Eaung Terry Laosuwanwat of TL promotions on what’s next for the junior welterweight.
“Right now we are going to corporate with Color World promotion. His next fight is confirmed for August 26 in Dubai for his ninth defense of his title where he will fight LeQuan Wang (8-0) of China who is the WBC super lightweight continental champion.”
When asked about whether his fighter is ready to take on the bigger names in the stacked 140-pound division, which includes the likes of Ohara Davies, Ryan Garcia and Rolly Romero, he said “to be honest he is 80%-90% ready but if he gets a chance now we will fight now.
“He’s just 19 and has fought in Thailand only, so right now we will focus on the fight in Dubai. If he keeps winning and gets more experience, he will be ready for a world title. We will build him up slowly but like I said if we get the chance to fight for a title we will fight.”
It’s an exciting time for Yoohanngoh as Thailand hasn’t produced a major 140-pound beltholder in 15 years. The country has always had boxing champions but in the smaller weight divisions.
Yoohanngoh has a large social media following and is extremely popular in Thailand as well as internationally. His fans anticipate him fighting the likes of Garcia or Romero. With his WBA ranking, it’s possible we will see the Thai up-and-comer hanging with a big name sooner rather than later.