RTE are reporting that Bernard Dunne has been told that the first defence of his WBA Super Bantamweight title must be against Thailand's Poonsawat Kratingdaeng.
The National Lottery will be disappointed - Poonsawat Kratingdaeng isn't a name likely to fit on the back of a scratchcard so he won't be entering the Winning Streak draw if he gets three stars!
In all seriousness, Poonsawat is a serious operator who has won 38 of his 39 fights, 27 by way of knockout. A lot of his wins are over fighters who are not of Dunne's calibre though but a man who can punch is a man who can punch. Poonsawat has two things in common with Dunne. They both have a win over Panama's Ricardo Cordoba and they both have one defeat. Poonsawat's came at the hands of Wladimir Sidorenko, who normally operates at the Bantamweight division. That fight was Poonsawat's only one to be held outside of his homeland so let's hope (from an Irish point of view) that he's a bad traveller. We still don't know where the fight will take place - the RTE article reports that it's up for purse bid and negotiations are ongoing - but given Dunne's financial clout another night at Dublin's o2 Arena is likely.
The news has repercussions for Rendall Munroe. The European Champion and undisputed best Super Bantamweight in the UK seems a natural future opponent for Bernard (he was at the Cordoba fight in March to scope out the Dubliner). It's a fight that makes cash common sense (to quote the dearly departed Buncey), especially if held in Dublin as Munroe's ticket-selling abilities aren't the best. Munroe must now wait for Bernard, but I've no doubt that it's a fight we'll one day see in Dublin, just as we shall see him take on the tough Thai Poonsawat. After sampling the amazing atmosphere at the Cordoba fight, I know I'll be there for both.