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Rey “Hitman” Loreto.

Loreto to challenge WBA world champ in July

Former world champion Rey “Hitman” Loreto of the Philippines will fight again for the world title on July 15 in Chonburi, Thailand. 

This time, Loreto will be challenging the undisputed World Boxing Association (WBA) minimumweight champion Thammanoon Niyomtrong, also known as Knockout CP Freshmart of Thailand.

This was confirmed by Loreto’s manager Brico Santig of Highland International Boxing Promotions.

“Ito na iyong hinihintay niya na pagkakataon kahit na hindi pa siya nababayaran sa laban niya sa South Africa. Hindi siya sumuko bagkos nag pursige pa siya ngayon upang mabigyan ang malaking break para lumaban sa mandatory world championship,” (This is what he has been waiting for despite what happened in South Africa which he was not paid (until now). He did not quit and instead strive more to get a break to fight for a mandatory world championship) said Santig in a phone interview by Fight News Asia. Loreto has not been paid of his PHP2 million purse in South Africa,

The 26-year-old Loreto, a former International Boxing Organization (IBO) light flyweight champion has been training at the Highland Boxing Gym in La Trinidad, Benguet since last month with his trainer Joven “JJ” Jorda.

“Nagpapasalamat po ako ng malaki sa Diyos at sa aking manager na hindi tumigil sa pagtulong sa akin at pag suporta (I thank the Lord so much and my manager who did not stop supporting me),” said Loreto, adding that he is offering this fight to his family and the Filipino people.

WBA championship chairman George Martinez earlier made the mandatory bout on the undefeated Niyomtrong (15-0, 7 KOs) to defend his crown against the no. 1 contender Loreto (23- 13-0, 15 KOs).

Santig had earlier wanted to stage the championship fight at Loreto’s hometown in Davao City but Thailand promoters had decided to hold it in Thailand due to the on-going Martial law in Mindanao.

The two major sponsors of the title fight are Charoen Pokphand Group and Toyota Motor Thailand Co., Ltd.

Niyomtrong’s last mandatory bout was on June 29, 2016 and his next obligatory championship bout is past due from March 28, 2017. He recently retained his title via a 5th round knockout against Go Odaira last March 1 in Chonburi, Thailand.

Loreto has twice fought outside the country for a world title in Montecarlo and South Africa.

He previously stopped another Thai boxer Rungrit Sor Visetkit in the 3rd round last August 19 in Bangkok.

“I will not take my opponent lightly because he has the quickness and power. I will study his style,” said Loreto. Lito delos Reyes/PNA 

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