Earlier today we saw the sad news of Thai legend Chartchai Chionoi (61-18-3, 36) [ชาติชาย เชี่ยวน้อย] passing away this past Sunday at the Nopparat Rajathanee Hospital, aged 75.
The Bangkok born icon debuted in 1959 and later became the second ever Thai world champion back in 1966, when he stopped Walter McGowan in a bloody and fierce contest for the WBC Flyweight title for his first world title reign.
He would defend the belt 3 times, beating McGowan a second time, Efren Torres and Bernabe Villacampo, before losing the belt in 1969 to Efren Torres in their second bout. The following year Chionoi became a 2-time champion as he took the win in a rubber match with Torres.
Sadly the Thai's second reign was a show one, losing in his first defense to Erbito Salavarria. That could have been the end but not for Chionoi who would turn his attentipn to the WBA title.
In his first bout for the WBA belt he lost to Japanese sensation Masao Oba, but would claim the title months later, stopping Fritz Chervet for the title which had become vacant when Oba had his fatal automobile accident.
Chionoi's third and final reign saw the Thai score two defenses, as he defeated Susumu Hanagata and Chervet, in a second meeting between the two men, before failing to make weight for a rematch with Hanagata. The rematch with the Japanese speedster saw Hanagata force a 6th round stoppage over the drained Thai, who would fight only twice more before retiring in 1975.
After boxing Chionoi's health would go on to fail and he would suffer with Parkinson's disease and the results of it. In recent years his health had faltered more and more and he had been suffering from various health problems, including lung issues which would ultimately be the cause of his death on January 21st.
Although not part of the IBHOF Chionoi has been a Thai boxing legend and was inducted into the WBC Hall of Fame back in 1993. He is often considered among the top 20 or so Flyweight's of all time and was in numerous bloody, exciting and action packed bouts that helped make him such a key figure in both the Flyweight division and the boxing scene at large.
Rest in Peace Chartchai Chionoi
October 10th 1942 - January 21st 2018
OVer the last few days we've seen some sad news from Thailand, as the illness of former world champion Chartchai Chionoi [ชาติชาย เชี่ยวน้อย] has worsened and the former fighter is now struggling to breathe.
The former fighter was a multi-time Flyweight champion in the 1960s and 1970's but has sadly been suffering from Parkinson's disease in recent years, with the health issues being attributed to his hard and long career in the ring.
That illness is said to have worsened to the point where Chionoi is now needing Oxygen at hospital and he can hardly breathe on his own.
Given the struggle with Chionoi's battle it was nice to see that promoter Naris Singwancha has began to make a monthly contribution to to Chionoi and his family. The payment is a relatively sizable one, and from comments in the media it seems that the promoter is hoping get others to help support Chionoi whilst his health continues to decline.
The move from Mr Singwancha is a positive one, and whilst it certainly won't reverse the illness it is good to see that the Thai boxing scene hasn't forgotten about the second ever Thai world champion.
(Image courtesy of http://www.thairec.com)
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