Youssef Boughanem: Undisputed Middleweight King
Friday, October 19th: Cometh the hour, Cometh the man! That rings true for current WBC MuayThai middleweight world champion Youssef Boughanem as the champion put in another powerhouse performance on last Saturday night’s Phoenix Fighting Championship event. The Belgian/Moroccan fighter took his unrelenting skill set to the grand stage of the Palais 12 stadium in Brussels, where he made his first successful defence of his coveted WBC MuayThai 160Lb world championship title. The man who stood opposite Youssef was Thailand’s Kongjak Por-Pao-In, himself a former decorated Bangkok stadium champion. The World Title Contest: Both fighters started the first round with plenty of respect for each other’s skill set and prowess as the champion and the challenger set about looking for openings and angles to press forward using all eight weapons available — it was Boughanem who seemed to edge a slight advantage in the opening stanza. The second round saw the action step up in tempo as the near capacity crowd of three thousand fans cheered and appreciated every calculated moved by both protagonists. Again the champion slightly edged this round with cleaner more effective body kicks and some shape knees to his opponent’s body. Rounds three and four were more of the same — with plenty of back and forth action — the contest was so faced paced and action-packed that on two occasions Kongjak was sent flying out of the ring by his opponent. You could easily argue that round three was a draw but the penultimate round was a clear advantage to the champion. The climatic round arrived and it started with the challenger pressing the action for the first half of the final three minutes, but once again the champion proved his metal and looked to seal the deal with some relentless combinations to the body of his opponent. The final bell rang — the scores were tallied — and the champion reigned supreme with a unanimous points victory much to the delight of the thousands in attendance.