Earlier today we were informed that Thai promoter Kiatkreerin were set to put on their next card on February 26th in Bangkok, with the card to air on Thairath.
At the moment we're unsure on the specifics for the show though from what we under the card will feature a trio of notable fighters from the Kiatkreerin banner with the most well known of those being former amateur star Manus Boonjumnong (4-0, 2) [มนัส บุญจำนงค์].
Manus, a Middleweight hopeful, is a 2-time Olympic medal winner who turned professional last year and has already run up 4 wins and moved into 8 round bouts, whilst slowly looking more and more like a professional.
From we under-stand the other bouts will include Patomsuk Pathompothong (31-4-1, 19) [ปฐมศึก เกษตรพัฒนา] fighting in an IBF Asia title fight at 140lbs against Stevie Ongen Ferdinandus (17-10-1, 8).
Thailand don't tend to get many fighters making their name above the "lighter" weights, however this year we have seen one Thai fighting at Middleweight get some attention. That is the unbeaten Manus Boonjumnong (3-0, 1), a former 2-time Olympic medal who turned professional this year.
On his debut an over-weight and old looking Manus impressed us as he school the experienced Jamed Jalarante. Manus looked completely out of shape though showed good boxing and very impressive speed to win with out coming close to breaking a sweat. Since then he has slowly got himself closer to being in to shape and this past Monday he impressed as he blew away Indonesian fighter Jonatan Simamora (23-27-5, 8).
From the opening bell Manus looked comfortable, relaxed and like he meant business. As a result it took him less than a round to see off Simamora, who had no answer for the speed, variation or body shots of Manus, who scored his first stoppage win of his professional career.
(Note -The fight starts around 1:07:55)
Earlier today we were informed that 2-time Olympic medal winner Manus Boonjumnong (1-0) would be returning to the ring for his second bout as a professional boxer.
The 35 year old Thai, who won medals at both the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, debuted as a professional earlier this year less than a week after his 35th birthday. On his debut he showed touches of genuine skill as he easily over-came Jamed Jalarente of Indonesia. Despite the impressive skills that he showed he did leave us wondering about his age and his size, with a clearly swollen mid-section.
Today's news was that Manus would be fighting on September 27th in a bout against former Indonesian Welterweight champion Marco Tuhumury (10-11-2, 3). The bout really should be a mismatch but we are very interested to see Manus in action again, and we're really hoping he comes to the ring in some sort of shape as he has the ability to make a genuine impact on the sport, at least regionally.
From what we under-stand his bout will be televised on Mono 29 along with the main event, which will see stablemate Mike Tawatchai (35-8-1, 21) attempt to claim the IBF Pan Pacific Super Bantamweight title. We will also see Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (27-4-1, 15) in action as he attempts to move towards a second world title bout.
In 2004 Thailand's Manus Boonjumnong (1-0) won the Olympic gold medal in the Light Welterweight division. In 2008 he added a silver medal to become the most successful Thai boxing in Olympic history. At that point he should have turned professional and gone on to have an excellent career in the paid ranks where his skills were still ultra-sharp, his movement lightening quick, he had youth and he was in shape.
Instead of turning professional back then and striking while the iron was hot Manus waited, he got fat and got old.
Today he, finally, made his professional debut aged 34 and looking very out of shape. Despite being "old and fat" the Thai did, look impressive as he dominated Indonesian veteran Jamed Jalarante (23-19-1, 11) in an incredibly 1-sided 4 round bout.
From the opening bell Manus looked skilled, quick, sharp and accurate. His podgy belly belied excellent hand speed, alarming reflexes and incredible movement. Round after round he drew the leads from Jalarante and countered with excellent shots that landed with alarming regularity. For 3 rounds it was a show case in counter punching by the Thai who then enjoyed himself in round 4 showing off his elusiveness whilst stood with his hands down. It was an exhibition for the former amateur stand out.
Sadly whilst the performance was excellent from Manus it was also clear that he wasn't interested in taking things too seriously. He came into the ring looking like a man who was carrying 20lbs of excess weight, and like a man who was happy to have fun rather than go out there and make a serious charge for a title.
Although we're unsure on what the future will bring we'll admit we're impressed and, if, Manus can get into shape and stay active there may be some interesting fights out there for him in the near future. He does however need to be fast tracked given his age. If his team can get him facing fringe level opposition by the end of the year there is a chance, albeit a slim one, that he may manage to be fast tracked to a world title fight. We don't think he has the ability to win one a major title but we'd love to see him try.
Earlier today we were informed of the impending professional debut of Thailand's Manus Boonjumnong (0-0), a former Olympic champion and one of the most success Thai amateur boxers.
Manus first came to the attention of the amateur boxing world in 2003 when he claimed a bronze medal at the 2003 World Amateur Championships in his native Thailand. The following year we saw his reputation grow massively as he went on to claim the Olympic gold medal in Athens beating the likes of Willy Blain and Yudel Johnson along the way.
Although Manus failed to really build on that success immediately he did later go on to claim gold at the 2006 Asian Games, claiming Thailand's only gold medal, and a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, losing to eventual winner Felix Diaz.
Whilst Manus's debut would have been major news a few years ago many in Thailand are now viewing this as a debut that has come way too late. The fighter is now 34 and is almost certainly beyond his physical prime. Despite that there is still some hope that he can be fast tracked, like fellow amateur standout Amnat Ruenroeng.
Having mentioned Amnat it's worth noting that Manus's debut comes on the upcoming card headlined by Amnat's fight against Johnriel Casimero on June 27th. Manus will be fighting against Indonesian journeyman Jamed Jalarante (23-18-1, 11), who has been stopped in his last two bouts. The bout is scheduled as a 4 round bout at 160lbs and it expected to be a straightforward win for Manus.
Although it's great to see Manus finally turn professional we do wonder what he could have done in the pro ranks had he not waited so long.
(Image courtesy of kiatkreerin and thairec.com, video below shows Manus's Olympic gold medal winning bout)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!