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Manus falls at first hurdle in Chicago : On October 25th , 2007

Reigning Olympic and Asian Games champion Manus Boonjumnong suffered a shock defeat against Japanese Masatsugu Kawachi in the first round of the World Amateur Boxing Championships in Chicago. Manus was well beaten 14-9 in the 64kg division. He claimed the loss was a result of his weight problem.

''Before getting into the ring, I was confident. But I was too slow to fight back because I had lost too much weight'' Manus said.

''I saw his punches but could not escape.''

The tournament is the first Olympic qualifying leg with the quarter-finalists going to Beijing next year.

Although there are two more qualifying tournaments in Thailand and Kazakhstan next year, the Ratchaburi-born boxer was so discouraged that he wanted to retire immediately.

But he changed his mind and said he would discuss his future with Gen Taweep Jantararoj, president of the Amateur Boxing Association of Thailand (Abat).

His shock defeat did not surprise Gen Taweep who admitted that there were not good boxers to replace him. He said if Manus was at full strength he would qualify for the 2008 Olympics.

In the bantamweight (54kg), Olympic silver medalist Worapoj Petchkoom took an easy 13-5 victory over Joan Tipon of the Philippines in the first round.

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