One of the more tragic Thai boxing stories is that of Netrnoi Sor Vorasingh (29-7-2, 15), a fighter that not many will be too familiar with. Netrnoi was a real prodigy, and one of the most talented teenagers of his era, sadly though his flame burned out all too quickly and when he passed away in in December 1982 he was just 23 years old. By that point he had had 39 professional bouts, won a world title, lost a world title and scored 5 real stand out wins in career that really was too short.
Netrnoi made his professional debut in March 1975, aged just 15. He was apparently just 4′ 10½″ at the time, but that didn't stop him rising through the ranks. Aged 17 he fought Sang Il Jung for the OPBF Light Flyweight title, fighting to a draw with the Korean, and less than a year later he challenged WBC world champion Luis Estaba in Venezuela.
Of course we're not here to talk about losses and draws in this weekly series, and instead we bring you the 5 most significant wins for... Netrnoi Sor Vorasingh. Rather oddly these 5 bouts all came within an incredible 10 month stretch, in what was a busy but short career for the Thai.
Freddy Castillo (May 6th 1978)
After losing Luis Estaba in October 1977 Netrnoi managed to secure a second a world title bout, facing off with the man who had taken the title from Estaba, Freddy Castillo. Castillo, a Mexican, had stopped Estaba to take the title in February 1978 and had travelled to Thailand for his first defense. His opponent was Netrnoi who managed to battle to a decision win over the champion. Whilst the decision was perhaps questionable the fact the then 19 year old Netrnoi fought so competitively with the champion was impressive. The decision went to Netrnoi who set a record as the youngest ever Thai world champion. Rather staggeringly this was his 22nd professional bout in just over 3 years as a professional, in what was an insanely active start to his career.
Luis Estaba II (July 29th 1978)
Whilst there could be some discussion over whether Netrnoi deserved the win over Castillo there is no doubt his win in a rematch against Luis Estaba just 2 months later. Netrnoi returned to Venezuela to beat the man who had beaten him the previous October and took out the then 39 year old former world champion. Estaba was old, especially for a Light Flyweight, and was fighting for the 52nd time, but that shouldn't take away how important this win was for Netrnoi, who managed to avenge a defeat, and do so in "Lumumba's" back yard. Certainly not the biggest win in history, but a very significant one for the teenager.
Erbito Salavarria (December 3rd 1978)
Sadly Netrnoi's reign didn't last long, and he lost the belt in September to Korean fighter Sung Jun Kim, another tragic young man who took his life at the age of 35. Just weeks after losing his title the Thai was back in the ring and taking on Filipino veteran Erbito Salavarria. Although Salavarria was coming to the end of his career, and hadn't fought in over 2 years, he was only a fight removed from losing the WBA Flyweight title. The Filipino had been a 2-time Flyweight champion and was known in Thailand for his 1970 win over Chartchai Chionoi. Netrnoi sent Salvarria into permanent retirement by knocking him out in the 4th round, and bouncing back from his own title loss.
Seung Hoon Lee (February 10th 1979)
After stopping two former world champions Netrnoi scored a criminally under-rated win over future Seung Hoon Lee Super Bantamweight world champion Seung Hoon Lee. Although Lee was almost a decade away from his eventual world title win he entered this bout on the back of winning the South Korean Flyweight title, and a year after this bout would lose a split decision to Rafael Orono in a world title bout. The Thai would take a decision over Lee in what was an impressive victory that looks better when we look back over it. Lee's career aged like a fine wine, with an interesting 1982 bout against Lupe Pintor a close loss to Victor Callejas, in 1985, and then his 1987 win over Prayurasak Muangsurin for the IBF Super Bantamweight title. This win is one with real significance when looked back on.
Bernabe Villacampo (March 15th 1979)
We end this with Netnoi's final notable win, which came just weeks after he beat Lee and came against former Flyweight world champion Bernabe Villacampo. As with Estaba and Salavarria, it's fair to say that Villacampo had seen better days. He was 36 by this point and his world title win over Hiroyuki Ebihara had come way back in 1969. Despite that he was still a notable name and just a year prior he had scored a KO win over Shigeo Nakajima, who won a world title in 1980. Villacampo was stopped in 5 rounds by the Thai who never again beat an opponent of any real note. As for Villacampo he would retire after losing 2 of his following 3 bouts.
Sadly Netrnoi would only fight 11 times after beating Villacampo. He went 7-3-1 (4) after that bout, losing by stoppage to Hilario Zapata and Andy Balaba and losing a decision in 1982 to the then debuting Samart Payakaroon. Less than 4 months after losing to Samart Netrnoi passed away following a motorcycle accident.
This is just an opinion, maaaan! It's easy to share our opinions, and that's what you'll find here, some random opinion pieces