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Search for a new star continues : On March 23rd , 2008

Thailand has only one male world boxing champion and that is WBC strawweight title holder Oledong Sithsamerchai.

In a country which held many titles at one time, for example when Sot Chitalada, Khaosai Galaxy, Samart Payakarun, Khaokor Galaxy ruled the roost, today the kingdom is languishing with only one.

Promoter Virat Vachiraratanawongse said the situation was one that saddened him.

"We are a nation with so much talent for boxing," said Virat.

"We have many gymnasiums, as well as good coaches, but we have come down to only one world champion which is heart-breaking."

He said that is one reason why he is placing so much emphasis on promoting WBC Youth title fights.

These titles are for young boxers and each defence - and sanctioning fee - means they move up the WBC rankings

"It is from young champions we can create good world champions and inspire them to bid for world titles," said the promoter.

"In the past we used to pick our boxers, both amateurs and professionals, straight from the Muay Thai ranks which meant they did not have much background in the Queensbury Rules style of fighting.

"However, today they are graduating from solid Queensbury Rules boxing.

"One of the reasons is the creation of youth championships and this has helped boxing a lot."

He said young fighters could polish their skills as they advance through the ranks.

"Fight after fight their standard of boxing is improving and coaches are also able to do a far better job with the fighters by teaching them good skills," he said.

Virat pointed to the example of how Payak Chorpimon prepared Oledong to dethrone WBC strawweight champion Eagle Kyowa last year.

"Everyone expected Oledong to be beaten up but Oledong came up with a different style of boxing, which baffled even those who had known him for a long time," said Virat.

"That's because coach Payak was able to change his style of fighting quite easily and that is due to his experience in boxing skills."

Oledong made 16 unbeaten defences of his WBC Youth title before he fought for the world title.

He was also the WBC-affiliated Asian Boxing Council champion for much of the same time.

All involved with the WBC Youth championships hope a new star will be born next Friday at Wat Bungthonglang School in Lat Phrao, in a fight chaired by Danuporn Punnakant M.P.

Twenty-one-year-old Chatchai Sor Thanayong from Chaiyaphum Province will bid for the vacant WBC Youth flyweight title against Wang Jun Hui of China.

Though young Chatchai's professional record falls far short of that of his Chinese opponent, who has fought 14 times, won 9, lost three and drawn two; his amateur and Muay Thai records are quite impressive.

He was a gold-medallist in the Student Boxing Championships. He won the gold medal in the Thailand Youth Championships in 2005 and was picked the best boxer at the meet.

He was former Muay Thai mini-flyweight champion of Thailand and retired as Muay Thai flyweight champion and as an amateur he had 20 fights and won all.

He has had two fights as a pro boxer, winning both on points.

The Youth flyweight title was declared vacant when Panomrunglek Krathingdaeng retired unbeaten on May 16, as he is 24 years old.

Panomrunglek won the Youth flyweight title from the late Lito Sisnorio of the Philippines on October 5, 2006 and made six unbeaten defences.

Panomrunglek is the second-ranked WBC flyweight contender, behind Pongsaklek Wonjongkam.

On Friday, Oledong is expected to make a 10-round appearance against Serga John of Indonesia.

Former WBA super-featherweight champion Yodsanan Sithyodthong will take on fellow Thai Fahprathan Sith-Donthai and former WBC Youth champion Fahpetchnoi Kratingdaeng will meet compatriot Payak-Dam Sakpracha.

Liampetch Sor.Veraphol will meet Weerayuth Tor Paiboonchoke in a 10-rounder on the undercard.

The honorary chairman of the boxing programme will be Khunying Sudaratana Keyuraphant.



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