By Francisco Salazar
Junior lightweight Paul Fleming returned to action Friday night, defeating former world bantamweight titleholder Panya Uthok by unanimous decision at the Emporium Function Centre in Bankstown, a suburb of Sydney, Australia.
The much-taller Fleming rained combinations down onto Uthok (aka Pungluang Sor Singyu Onesong) throughout much of the fight.
Uthok attempted to get on the inside of Fleming’s guard, finding some success, but the southpaw Fleming was sharper and effectively countered Uthok.
Scores were 80-72, 80-72, and 79-73 for Fleming, who resides in Sydney.
Fleming (26-0, 17 knockouts) had not fought since Dec. 13 of last year, when he stopped Vergil Puton of the Philippines.
“We knew (Uthok) was going to come in tough and put on a hard show,” said the 30-year-old Fleming. “I think I controlled the fight. I hurt my right hand in about the fourth or fifth (round) and then I hurt my left hand in the sixth or seventh.”
“Uthok came in with his head down and I was bouncing shots off his forehand. Anyone who knows boxing knows that’s one of the hardest parts of the body to hit, so both my hands are busted up.”
Fleming, who is managed by Mike Altamura, is eyeing a fight with WBO Masayuki Ito, who is defending his WBO world title against Evgeny Chuprakov. Both Fleming and Ito are promoted by Top Rank.
Uthok (52-6, 35 KOs), who resides in Bangkok, Thailand, has lost his last three fights.
Featherweight contender Luke Jackson bounced back from his Aug. 18 loss to Carl Frampton, dropping Rivo Rengkung in round seven en route to a unanimous decision victory.
All three judges scored the bout 79-72 in favor of Jackson, who improves to 17-1, 7 KOs.
Welterweight Youssef Dib (11-0, 5 KOs), the younger brother of former world featherweight titleholder Billy Dib, stopped Ty Gilchrist (6-8-1, 2 KOs) after the second round.
Welterweight Dylan Emery (20-1, 13 KOs) stopped Bima Prakosa (1-5, 1 KO) in the third round.