Kitichai Preecha: A Fighter’s Journey in Boxing

Kitichai Preecha, known in the boxing world as Payak Nakornluang, is a name that resonates with resilience and the spirit of Thai boxing. Born on September 20, 1976, in Chandi, Chawang District, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, Thailand, Kitichai’s journey into the world of professional boxing is a tale of passion, transformation, and the relentless pursuit of greatness.

Early Beginnings and Transition to Boxing

Kitichai’s foray into combat sports began at the tender age of 12 with Muay Thai, a martial art deeply rooted in Thai culture. His early exposure to the discipline of fighting laid the foundation for his future in boxing. The transition from Muay Thai to professional boxing marked a significant turn in his career. Adopting the name Sainam Chandiloha, he quickly made a name for himself by clinching the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium mini flyweight champion title, a prestigious accolade that is often compared to being a national champion in Thailand.

Rise to Prominence

The change in management to Suchart Pisitwuttinan of Nakornluang Promotion and the guidance of trainer Vorapong Pukprajob (Monsawan Laemfapha) propelled Kitichai’s career forward. Under their tutelage, he secured four consecutive wins, setting the stage for a world title challenge. His opportunity came on June 29, 1996, when he faced the formidable Ricardo López, a Mexican boxing legend, for the WBC 105-pound world champion title in California. Despite a valiant effort, Kitichai was defeated by a powerful left uppercut in the third round.

Perseverance and Legacy

The loss to López did not deter Kitichai. He remained hopeful for another shot at the world title, anticipating that López might vacate the strawweight division. However, this did not materialize during his active years. Kitichai continued to fight, securing a victory against Thai boxer Chart Kiatpetch in a qualifying fight before eventually retiring from the sport.

Kitichai Preecha’s boxing record stands as a testament to his skill and determination in the ring. With a total of 19 fights, he achieved 14 wins, 3 of which were by knockout, and faced 5 losses. His career may not have been adorned with world titles, but his journey from a young Muay Thai fighter to a professional boxer who challenged for the world championship is a narrative of true grit and the pursuit of a dream.

A Legacy Beyond the Ring

Today, Kitichai Preecha’s story serves as an inspiration to aspiring boxers in Thailand and around the world. His transition from Muay Thai to boxing, his rise through the ranks, and his unwavering spirit in the face of adversity are hallmarks of a fighter who gave his all to the sport he loved. Kitichai’s legacy is not just in the records he set or the titles he chased; it is in the indomitable spirit he displayed, a spirit that continues to inspire fighters to step into the ring with courage and determination.


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