Between 1996 and 2016 we saw the career of Sutep Wangmuk, better known as Denkaosan Kaovichit (63-7-1, 26), unfold with some really notable success. The Thai was never a huge star of boxing, but he was a former WBA Flyweight champion and he scored a number of notable wins, including victories of Takefumio Sakata, Daiki Kameda and Nobuo Nashiro.
To begin his career Denkaosan got off to a great start winning his first 20 bouts, and was 48-1-1 at one point, but the later part of his career really wasn't great and he seemed to become a "name" for emerging fighters to get on their records in the later portion of his career.
Despite ending his career in under-whelming fashion Denkaosan is certainly an interesting fighter, and someone worthy of a bit more attention than he gets. With that in mind let us shine a light on him as we bring you 10 facts you probably didn't know about... Denkaosan Kaovichit
1-Denkaosan began fighting at the age of 12, where he took the Kaovichit name. Sadly however details regarding an amateur career are scarce, as are details regarding a Muay Thai career, though he did reportedly compete in Muay Thai before switching to "international boxing" a few years later.
2-Unlike many professional boxers Denkaosan debuted in a 12 rounder, in fact he actually won the PABA Flyweight title, via 12 round decision, on his debut. A genuinely impressive accomplishment, and one that is even more impressive when you realise that win came against the then GAB champion Melvin Magramo, from the Philippines. In fact the win aged really well as Magramo later went on to win the OPBF title. Amazingly he would compete in 51 total bouts for some form of PABA title, and 10 bouts for other titles, giving him 61 career title boutsin just 71 professional bouts!
3-Denkaosan, like many fighters, is religious and is actually a Muslim, which is somewhat rare in Thailand where Buddhism is the dominant religion, by a long way.
4-As with so many Thai fighters Denakosan fought with a number of sponsor names during his career. He is best known as "Kaovichit" but also fought as Denkaosan Singwancha and Denkaosan Kratingdaenggym. The WBA seemed to ignore the various name changes however, and consistently kept him as "Kaovichit". He also used a unique name, for one bout only, in 1997 against Todd Makelim. Sadly we've not been able to translate this one properly from the Thai, which is "ส.ท่าอิฐ".
5-Unlike many of the top Thai's Denkaosan did actually travel for a lot of his man fights. In fact he fought 10 of his 71 bouts on the road, and fought in 5 different countries. They were Thailand, Japan, USA, Panama and Australia. Among his bouts on the road he faced Eric Morel, Takefumi Sakata - twice, Daiki Kameda - twice, Luis Concepcion, Kohei Kono and TJ Doheny. For those curious, his record outside of Thailand was 2-7-1 whilst at home he went a perfect 61-0.
6-Despite having 71 fights, over a career that lasted around 20 years, Denkaosan only fought 3 times in August and December. For comparison his most common months for fighting were October and February, with 9 bouts in each of those months.
7-Denkaosan has, at least, 7 children!
8-Denkaosan officially announced his retirement in April 2016 after losing in Japan to Kazuki Tanaka. That was a third straight stoppage loss for the Thai, who was 1-4 in his previous 5, having been stopped in all 4 losses, and he had only scored 3 wins in the previous 3 years, with the only win of note being his split decision over Nobuo Nashiro.
9-Sadly, later in 2016, Denkaosan was hospitalised following an attack in Thailand that saw him almost have his left hand amputated. Details of the attack were unclear, though there was said to have been a dispute about a dog and a sharp instrument used against Denkaosan, reported to have been either a sword or a knife.
10-Denkaosan is one of a number of sports people born in August 23rd 1976. Others include 2-time World Championship bronze medal winning Judoka Edinanci Silva, from Brazil, former Chinese football player Han Wenxia, Olympic gold medal winner LaTasha Colander, who won the 4 x 400m relay with team US in 2000, and NBAgiant Pat Garrity, who was around 18" taller than Denkaosan!
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).