Pone Kingpetch: Thailand’s First Boxing World Champion

Pone Kingpetch, born Mana Seedokbuab, was a Thai professional boxer who etched his name in history as the first world champion from Thailand. His remarkable journey began in the flyweight division, where he captured the world title in 1960 by defeating the legendary Pascual Perez of Argentina.

Kingpetch’s rise to the top was nothing short of extraordinary. He turned professional in 1954 and quickly made a name for himself in the Thai boxing scene. In 1956, he won the Thai flyweight title with a TKO victory over Kunoi Vithichai, setting the stage for his ascent to the global stage.

On April 16, 1960, Kingpetch achieved his dream of becoming a world champion when he outpointed Pascual Perez at the iconic Lumphini Boxing Stadium in Bangkok. This historic victory made him the first Thai boxer to claim a world title, igniting a wave of pride and inspiration throughout the nation.

Kingpetch’s reign as the flyweight king was not without its challenges. He lost the title to Fighting Harada of Japan in 1962 but regained it in a rematch the following year. However, his second reign was short-lived as Hiroyuki Ebihara knocked him out in the first round to claim the crown.

Undeterred, Kingpetch continued to fight and achieved another remarkable feat when he was named the inaugural WBC flyweight champion in 1963. He defended this title successfully before losing it to Salvatore Burruni of Italy in his final world title fight in 1964.

Throughout his illustrious career, Kingpetch engaged in memorable battles against some of the greatest flyweights of his era, including Pascual Perez, Fighting Harada, and Hiroyuki Ebihara. His skill, determination, and unwavering spirit earned him a place among the all-time greats of the sport.

Kingpetch’s impact on Thai boxing cannot be overstated. He paved the way for future generations of Thai fighters and inspired countless aspiring boxers to pursue their dreams on the global stage. His legacy as the first Thai world champion remains a source of immense pride and inspiration for the nation.

In recognition of his achievements, Kingpetch was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2023, cementing his place among the immortals of the sweet science. His story serves as a testament to the power of perseverance, dedication, and the pursuit of greatness against all odds.

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Boxing

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