His WBC minimumweight belt is on the road towards Panamanian challenger Leroy Estrada.
The fight, to be held outdoors the city corridor of second-tier Thai metropolis Nakhon Ratchasima, has not one of the glitz or pay-per-view pull of a Mayweather bout in Las Vegas.
However nonetheless Wanheng will enter boxing lore with victory — and, at 32 years of age, has time to go one higher and match the 51 wins, one draw and no losses set by Mexican flyweight Ricardo Lopez.
It isn’t simply the field workplace energy that differentiates Mayweather from the Thai, who turned to the ring on the age of 12 as a path out of poverty.
Whereas the prelude to Mayweather fights was outlined by hype and trash-talking, Wanheng has adopted a extra karmic strategy.
“I’m not feeling pressured, you win and you lose, and that’s the nature of sports,” he mentioned at his health club in Bangkok just a few days earlier than defending his title.
However he mentioned he had educated exhausting with the purpose of “equalling Floyd”.
Nicknames additionally seize the distinction between the pair.
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Along with “Money”, the American fought beneath the moniker “Pretty Boy” and “The Best Ever”, tags he nonetheless rolls out on a Twitter profile boasting greater than eight million followers.
With Wanheng, it is extra difficult.
Fighters in Thailand typically compete beneath the label of their health club, which is the place his second identify Menayothin — the identify of his Bangkok health club — comes from.
His authorized identify is Chayaphon Moonsri, whereas his most generally used nickname is the “dwarf giant” due to his small stature and highly effective punches.
However the boxer additionally fights beneath the alias “Five-Star Grilled Chicken” as a part of sponsorship take care of Thai meals large CP Hen.
Ought to Wanheng win on Wednesday his identify will enter the report books, however with an asterisk of types.
He has fought largely low-profile Asian challengers on his house turf in Thailand.
His rivals have been a combined bag — one final 12 months had 44 losses, whereas one other in 2014 had 24.
In December he tied Rocky Marciano’s 49-Zero tally with a win over Japanese contender Tatsuya Fukuhara.
Mayweather, in the meantime, had a a lot more durable journey defeating among the sport’s all-time greats, together with Manny Pacquiao and Oscar De La Hoya.
The welterweight has 27 KOs to Wanheng’s 17.
“With respect to Wanheng he’s never beaten anyone of note. In the west this fight will be nothing more than a trivial pursuit question,” Anson Wainwright, a boxing correspondent for The Ring journal, advised AFP, including that matching the report would nonetheless be a “good achievement.”
Carlos Costa, a boxing reporter masking the fight, mentioned the 23-year-old Estrada additionally poses a novel problem to Wanheng, 32.
“He’s younger and fresher,” Costa mentioned of Estrada. “He’s hungry for glory, and that makes a boxer always dangerous.”
And the Panamanian is in no temper to assist Wanheng into the historical past books, telling AFP “this is my opportunity to be a champion”.