Michael Rosenthal

Ring Ratings Update: Wonjongkam continues to amaze

Pongsaklek Wonjongkam is one of the best fighters you probably don’t know much about.

The 34-year-old Thai southpaw, THE RING flyweight champion, dominated No. 7-rated Mexican Edgar Sosa to retain his WBC title by a one-sided unanimous decision Friday in Bangkok.

That’s a familiar refrain. Wonjongkam (83-3-1, 45 knockouts) is now an astounding 22-1-1 in title fights, losing only to Daisuke Naito in 2007. He also has beaten nine titleholders.

Who wins 83 times these days? Who has 83 fights?

Wonjongkam’s other two losses came when he was a teenager. He is 74-1-1 since the second of those two losses.

Only Naito – against whom he’s 2-1-1 – has had notable success against him, although the loss and the draw (in 2008) both took place in Naito’s home country of Japan.

And get this: Wonjongkam has been in THE RING flyweight ratings for more than 10 years, a run of consistency that speaks to his remarkable ability.

What’s next? Sosa was only the second flyweight currently in THE RING ratings Wonjongkam has faced; he outpointed Julio Cesar Miranda in 2009. Thus, many challenges lay ahead if Wonjongkam chooses to take them.

And he has fought almost exclusively in the safe confines of his home country. We’d love to see him take on a top contender outside Thailand.

We have a feeling he’d do just fine.


Pound for pound: Wonjongkam (No. 8 last week) switches places with Timothy Bradley (No. 7 last week) after his strong performance against Sosa.

Cruiserweight: No. 1 Marco Huck stopped Rogelio Rossi in six rounds on Saturday in Germany. He retains his position.

Lightweight: Miguel Acosta (No. 4 last week) was one of the top lightweights in the world halfway through his fight against Brandon Rios in February.

Now, after losing that fight by a 10th-round knockout and losing a unanimous decision to unrated Richard Abril – going down three times in the process — Saturday in Panama, Acosta drops out of 135-pound Top 10.

Ratings Advisory Panel regular Tim Starks said that Acosta “might now be damaged goods from the loss to Brandon Rios.”

The shakeup gave us a chance to do some maintenance in the division.

Champion Juan Manuel Marquez, No. 1 Brandon Rios and No. 2 Roberto Guerrero maintain their positions. However, we had Antonio Demarco (No. 5 last week) and Miguel Vazquez (No. 7 last week) leap-frog Kevin Mitchell (No. 3 last week).

We felt Demarco and Vazquez have accomplished more than Mitchell, who only recently bounced backed from a KO loss to Michael Katsidis with a KO victory over John Murray.

So DeMarco is now No. 3 and is followed by Vazquez, Mitchell, Paulus Moses, Murray, John Molina, Abril (who enters at No. 9) and Jorge Linares.

Junior lightweight: Nos. 1 and 2 Mzonke Fana and Ricky Burns drop out of the ratings for different reasons.

Fana hasn’t fought since September of 2010. Burns gave up his WBO title and will move up in weight to face Katsidis in a lightweight bout on Nov. 15 in London.

Everyone from No. 3 down move up one notch. And unbeaten young contenders Eloy Perez and Luis Cruz enter at Nos. 9 and 10, respectively.

Bantamweight: No. 1 Nonito Donaire retains his position after a shutout decision over a reluctant Omar Narvaez on Saturday in New York City.

Donaire said he plans to move up in weight but we’ll wait until he does so remove him from the 118-pound ratings.

No. 9 Malcolm Tunaco stopped Chatpetch Sithmorseng in four rounds Friday in Japan. He retains his position.

Junior bantamweight: No. 1 Narvarez lost badly to Donaire but at bantamweight. Thus, he retains his position at 115 pounds.

Flyweight: Wonjongkam retains his championship with a victory over Sosa, who drops to No. 10. That lifts Nos. 8, 9 and 10 up one notch each.



Rated fighters in action this coming weekend (with current ratings)

Junior Middleweight: No. 4 Vanes Martirosyan vs. Richard Gutierrez (Saturday)

Junior Featherweight: No. 9 Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. vs. TBA (Saturday); No. 5 Takalani Ndlovu vs. Giovanni Caro (Saturday).

Flyweight: No. 3 Moruti Mthalane vs. Andrea Sarritzu (Friday); No. 1 Hernan Marquez vs. No. 2 Luis Concepcion (Saturday).

Strawweight: No. 1 Nkosinathi Joyi vs. No. 10 Katsunari Takayama (Saturday); No. 4 junior flyweight Ivan Calderon vs. Felipe Rivas (Saturday).

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