Deejay Kriel, who scored a come-from-behind 12th round stoppage of Carlos Licona on Feb. 16 to win the IBF strawweight title, has his sights set on the biggest fish in the pond at 105 pounds: Thailand’s Wanheng Menayothin, the WBC champion.
Kriel (15-1-1, 7 KO) tells The RING’s Ryan Songalia that he won’t go to Thailand for the fight, however, desiring a bout on neutral ground:
“I wouldn’t like to fight him in Thailand. I don’t think they have a fair deal going on there. I believe there’s guys that have beaten him but they’ve given him the fight. It’s like daylight robbery there. I wish we could have a neutral site, maybe in the US is where we could fight.”
Menayothin (52-0, 18 KO) has long been considered the top fighter in the division, having held the WBC belt since Nov. 2014. He’s made 10 successful defenses, and is set to defend again on March 29 against Tatsuya Fukuhara. Like all of his other fights, it’ll take place in Thailand.
It’s good to see South Africa’s Kriel calling out the big dog in the division, but if he won’t fight him in Thailand, I have a hard time seeing this come off. Menayothin has shown zero interest in fighting outside of his home country or even in unifying titles, which means that Kriel’s IBF belt probably isn’t by itself enough to get him to leave home.