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)
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