Derek Bonnett watches touted Thai Nick Frese suffer his first defeat, against Kenbati Haiyilao
China’s Kenbati Haiyilao sent a ripple through the waters of Asian boxing with a hard-fought unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Nick Frese in Bangkok, Thailand earlier today. The scheduled 10-rounder was contested at Workpoint Studio in Bang Phun for a regional welterweight title.
Haiyilao, 23, started the bout using his height and reach to assert control of the distance and tempo. While never torrid in terms of pace, the Chinese welterweight landed his jab and overhand right almost at will. Frese, 25, fought sluggishly and responded poorly to Haiyilao’s big punches. At times, Frese reeled backward with his hands up, resembling a vertical impression of Sonny Liston in Lewiston. At six feet, Haiyilao held considerable leverage over Frese. His overhand right began rocking the prospect more freely as the bout progressed.
Haiyilao bled from his nose as early as the fourth while Frese’ right eye was completely shut by the seventh. Frese also began spitting blood noticeably in the seventh following a few more rights. Late in the seventh, Haiyilao sported a nasty cut over his right eye, but it never figured into the outcome. A huge overhand right put Frese to the canvas in the eighth, almost cementing his doom. After eight rounds, the open scores favoured the underdog 89-82 and 86-85 twice.
In spite of a very heroic 10th round, Frese did not do enough to win. The Chinese boxer was clearly rocked on two occasions, but Frese’s tank was mostly spent and all he could do was narrow the defeat. Seconds Out saw Haiyilao the winner unofficially 98-91. Haiyilao took the unanimous decision, but the official scores were not shared on the broadcast.
Haiyilao raised his ledger to a modest 6-2-1 (1). Frese, once touted as a prospect, goes back to the drawing board at 10-1 (8).