Back in 1976 Wilfredo Benitez set the world record for the youngster ever world champion. At the time he was 17 years, 5 months and 23 days old. To many it's one of boxing untouchable records and is widely regarded as being unbreakable. After all many countries don't even allow fighters to turn professional until they are 17 or 18 years old anyway.
Whilst some countries have age limits others don't and, given there are more titles than ever, there is an inkling that we may one day see that record broken.
One such fighter who may have his eyes on that record is Saenganan KKP (11-0, 6) who recently claimed his second professional title whilst aged less than 15 years and 6 months.
The title Saenganan claimed recently was only the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental bantamweight title, which he added to his Light Flyweight title of the same distinction, but it's still an incredibly achievement for a kid who is quickly attracting a lot of attention in Thailand.
Born in Kamphaeng Phet, Thailand, on December 13th 1999 Saenganan first fought as a professional boxer back in May 2013, aged just 13! On his debut he stopped fellow debutant Yodmongkol Sor Kaenjai in 2 rounds to begin his career with a stoppage.
Within 15 months of his debut Saenganan had advanced his record to 6-0 (5) with all 6 wins coming against either debutants or fighters with incomplete records on boxrec, either is possible given the Thai boxing scene.
From the footage that is available it doesn't seem like Wilfredo Benitez's record is under too much threat from Saenganan. However it should be noted that Saenganan began his career younger than Benitez, who debuted 2 months after his 15th birthday, there are more world titles on offer now than event before, and it seems likely that other Thai's may well follow in Saenganan's footsteps. It will take a special talent to break the almost 40 year old record of "El Radar" however it may not as be as unbreakable as it once seemed.
As many will know Thailand is a world unto it's self when it comes to boxing and with so many young kids turning to combat sports there is every chance that it will be a Thai who eventually breaks the youngest world champion record. Likewise we could end up seeing records for the longest winning streak being set in the country, in fact one Thai is on an active winning streak of over 50 bouts. Other records might not be as easy but in boxing's "wild west" we may well see some funny things happening in the near future.
(Image courtesy of Thairec.com videos all courtesy of tko.in.th)
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).