SPORT NEWS 22:
The history of Manus Boonjamnong
Sergeant Manus Boonjamnong is an international boxer, the owner of an Olympic gold medal from the summer competition of 2004 in Greece. He was the fifth Thai boxer to win an Olympic gold medal and the third international boxer, following Somrak Kamsing and Vijarn Pholrit.
Manus received a gold medal from the Olympic Games, a gold medal from the Asian Games, two gold medals from Sea Games and one bronze from the competition for international boxers in Bangkok in 2003.
When he faced the young Dominican boxer, Felix Dias, in the light-welterweight final at Beijing on August 23rd this year, Manus was already the first Thai boxer to win two Olympic medals and firm favourite to win his second gold.
Manus Boonjamnong’s nickname is “Tle”. He was born on 24th June 1980 at Rajaburi, the son of Mr. Mano and Mrs. Malee Boonjanong. He has two brothers, Mr. Manon (Non Boonjamnong) and Phanthanin. The three brothers practised boxing from childhood.
His wife is Mrs. Phodjanee Boonjamnong and they have three sons. After receiving his gold medal from the Olympics in 2004, Manus separated from his wife in August 2006.
Olympic Games 2004
Manus fought at light-welterweight (64 kg.) in the Summer Olympic competition in 2004 in Athens, Greece. His road to success was:
In the quarter-final (22 August 2004) beat Willy Brain from France 20-8.
In the semi-final (27 August 2004) beat Ionut Georgy, the Romanian boxer.
In the final (28 August 2004) beat Udai Sederno Johnson from Cuba 17-11.
Manus was the third Thai to receive a gold medal at these Olympics. By this time Udomporn Pholsak and Paveena Thongsuk had already won gold medals.
Asian Games 2006
After Manus received the gold medal at the Olympics, he had a problem with his family and gambling, so he didn’t practise for some time. He changed his mind and went to the Asian Games in 2006 at Doha City, Qatar, and won the gold medal in December 2006 by beating Chin Muang Hoong from South Korea 22-11.
From playboy boxer to the “Historical Boxer”, the great history of Manus Boonamnong
No one can deny his success as an Olympic hero in Athens and Beijing. Manus Boonjamnong is a great person in Thai sports because no one else received two medals from two periods of Olympic competition.
“Tle” from Rajaburi province achieved it, but he was spoiled by his rapid success, gambling until his marriage to Nong Lek failed. He would not practise until General Thaweep Janthararoj, the president of the Thai boxing, tried to rouse Manus to practise.
Manus began to practise for some time after General Thaweep and reporters went to see him practise, but, after they had gone, Manus also went immediately. His wife could not bear his way of life, so divorced him.
Then General Thaweep sent him to the 15th Asian Games in Doha in Qatar in 2006. The reporters predicted that Manus would fail in this tournament, but finally he won, so the reporters named him “Playboy Glubjai” (the playboy who changed his mind).
Manus knew he would confront many problems when he had to fight Masasuku Kawachi of Japan. He knew deeply that, if he was not strong enough, he would fail. So he practised hard for the Olympics and General Thaweep sent him to practise in Vietnam for four months.
Olympic Games 2008
In Round 1 (14 August 2008) beat Masasuku Kawachi (Japan) 8-1
In the quarter-final (17 August 2008) beat Serik Sapiyef (Kazakstan) 7-5
In the semi-final (22 August 2008) beat Ronial Iglesius Sotolonggo (Cuba) 10-5
Manus came back for the second time at the Olympics at the same weight. He defeated the Japanese boxer Masasuku Kawachi 8-1 to reach the bronze medal round. The fight reminded Thais that, if Manus could beat Serik Saphiyer, the champion of Kazakhstan, he would become the first Thai to received medals at two Olympic Games.
Everyone wanted to watch his fight. In the 1st round Manus was warned and had points deducted, but his superior boxing made him the winner by 7-5.
In the semi-final he defeated Ronial Iglesius Sotolonggo of Cuba , giving him the chance of a second gold medal.
Manus Boonjamnong was expected to win the final against Felix Dias of Dominica. After two rounds the score was 2-2, with Manus boxing cleverly in defence and counter-punching. But, sadly, Dias attacked so fiercely in the 3rd round that Manus was helpless and the great champion was hurt by many heavy punches. The Thai boxer was very brave and stayed on his feet, but at the end of the round Dias led 11-3 and he won the fight easily.
But Manus Boonjamnong’s two Olympic medals, one gold, one silver, make him a true hero of Thai sport.
By : Hero Sporto'