With just 29 bouts to his name Muangchai Kittikasem (25-4, 17) had a brilliant career. He was a 2-weight world champion, won his first title in just his 7th professional bout, fought in the US, scored a massive win in Korea, won a 2-fight series with a major domestic rival, and faced a number of notable opponents. He may never have been regarded as one of the sports truly elite level boxers, but he was still a fantastic fighter who had a short yet fantastic career.
Today we're going to look at the 5 most significant wins for... Muangchai Kittikasem, covering the wins that mean the most, even if they weren't necessarily the biggest or best wins of his career.
1-Tacy Macalos I (May 2nd 1989)
The first big win for Kittikasem came in 1989, less than 11 months after his professional debut, when he claimed his first world title. The Thai's team managed to get IBF Light Flyweight champion Tacy Macalos over from the Philippines to defend his title against the then 6-0 Kittikasem. The talented Filipino had won the belt 6 months earlier, when he defeated Jum Hwan Choi and not only had the title but alsoa significant edge in experience. That however wasn't enough to over-come Kittikasem in Thailand, where two of the judges game numerous 10-10 rounds leading to a split decision victory for the Thai. This was a controversial decision, not helped by cards that included 118-115 and 117-115, but saw Kittikasem put his name on the world stage.
2-Tacy Macalos II (October 6th 1989)
Given the bizarre scoring of their first fight between Kittikasem and Macalos, and the controversial nature of result, the two men would have an immediate rematch 5 months later. This time the judges weren't needed as Kittikasem stopped Macalos in 7 rounds to record his first successful defense. Whilst Macalos certainly had a legitimate complaints about the judging in the first bout there was no blaming the judges for this rematch. Sadly it was the start of the end for Macalos, who would later go 4-6 after this loss before retiring in 1994.
3-Sot Chitalada I (February 15th 1991)
Kittikasem's IBF Light Flyweight reign was a relatively short one, consisting of 3 successful defenses before he lost the belt in 1990 to brilliant American Michael Carbajal. Just 7 months after being dominated by Carbajal we saw the Thai move up in weight and battle against fellow Thai Sot Chitalada, the then WBC Flyweight champion. The two Thai's ended up putting on a war with both men being rocked, but it seemed like Kittikasem was the one landed the bigger shots on a more regular basis than Chitalada, who was dropped several times. In round 6 Kittikasem managed to see off Chitalada who needed saving whilst taking bombs against the ropes.
4-Jung Koo Chang (May 18th 1991)
Many of Kittikasem's big wins came at home in Thailand, there is however one that stands out, coming in South Korea, against an all-time great...in a truly special fight. The bout saw Kittikasem stop Jung Koo Chang in the 12th round, to make his first defense of the WBC Flyweight title. It wasn't just the win that stood out here, but the nature of the win, which was something amazing to watch. Chang had dropped Kitikasem 3 times during the bout, and it seemed like the Thai was set to lose the WBC Flyweight title to the Korean great. Chang was hunting a finish in the final round before Kittikasem caught the Korean Hawk and dropped him with less than a minute left. Chang beat the count but was dropped again and stopped. This wasn't just a big name on Kittikasem's record but was also a truly spectacular fight that needs to be seen to be believed.
5-Sot Chitalada II (February 28th 1992)
In Kittikasem's third defense of the WBC Flyweight title he rematched former champion Sot Chitalada. As with their first bout this was fun, and both men landed some huge headshots, but in the end the strength, power and hunger of Kittikasem was too much for Chitalada who was again saved by the referee after Chitalada's legs buckled. This was actually the end for Chitalada, who retired following this loss and never returned to the ring, despite only being 29.
Despite beating his fellow Thai in their rematch Kittikasem would himself struggle afterwards, losing the WBC Flyweight title 4 months later, to Yuri Arbachakov, and the lose a rematch to the Japanese based Russian. He continued on all the way up to 1999, after an ill fated comeback, before retiring having left a very big mark on the lower weights, and on the Thai boxing scene.
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