Khaosai Galaxy

Last updated
Khaosai Galaxy
เขาทราย แกแล็คซี่
Khaosai Galaxy.jpg
Khaosai Galaxy in 2007
Statistics
Real nameเขาทราย แกแล็คซี่
Nickname(s)ŝāy thalwng s̄ị̂ (ซ้ายทะลวงไส้)
"The Left Hand That Drills Intestines" [1]
Weight(s) Junior bantamweight
Height5 ft 5 in (165 cm)
Nationality Thai
Born (1959-05-15) May 15, 1959 (age 59)
Ban Cha Lianglab, Tambon Na Pa, Mueang Phetchabun District, Phetchabun Province, Thailand
Stance Southpaw
Boxing record
Total fights51
Wins50
Wins by KO44
Losses1
Draws0

Khaosai Galaxy (Thai : เขาทราย แกแล็คซี่, born, May 15, 1959) is a former professional Thai super flyweight (also known as junior bantamweight) boxer and Muaythai kickboxer. Khaosai defended his WBA world title 19 times in seven years (1984–1991), winning 16 of his title fights by knockouts. As a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, he is widely considered as one of the greatest boxing champions of all time. He is listed #19 on Ring Magazine's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time and named him the 43rd greatest fighter of the past 80 years in 2002. [2]

Thai language language spoken in Thailand

Thai, Central Thai, is the sole official and national language of Thailand and the first language of the Central Thai people and vast majority of Thai Chinese. It is a member of the Tai group of the Kra–Dai language family. Over half of Thai vocabulary is derived from or borrowed from Pali, Sanskrit, Mon and Old Khmer. It is a tonal and analytic language, similar to Chinese and Vietnamese.

Thai people ethnic group

Thai people or Thais, also known as Siamese, are a nation and Tai ethnic group native to Central Thailand. Part of the larger Tai ethno-linguistic group native to Southeast Asia as well as southern China and Northeast India, Thais speak the Central Thai language, which is classified as part of the Tai–Kadai family of languages. The majority of Thais are followers of Theravada Buddhism.

Super flyweight, also referred to as junior bantamweight or light bantamweight, is a weight class in professional boxing, contested from 112 pounds (51 kg) and up to 115 pounds (52 kg).

Contents

Muay Thai career

Khaosai was born as Sura Saenkham (Thai : สุระ แสนคำ) in Phetchabun Province, Northern Thailand. He was a Muay Thai fighter in the early 1980s, and took the professional name Galaxy from a restaurant and nightclub owned by his manager's friend. Khaosai had tremendous punching power, particularly in his soon-to-be legendary left hand. On the advice of his manager and trainer, he switched to Marquis of Queensbury style and began training as a western style boxer.

Phetchabun Province Province in Thailand

Phetchabun is one of the central or northern provinces (changwat) of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are Loei, Khon Kaen, Chaiyaphum, Lopburi, Nakhon Sawan, Phichit, and Phitsanulok.

Northern Thailand Region in Chiang Mai

Northern Thailand is geographically characterised by several mountain ranges, which continue from the Shan Hills in bordering Myanmar to Laos, and the river valleys which cut through them. Though like most of Thailand, it has a tropical savanna climate, its relatively high elevation and latitude contribute to more pronounced seasonal temperature variation, with cooler winters than the other regions. Historically it is related to the Lanna Kingdom and its culture.

Muay Thai martial arts

Muay Thai or literally Thai boxing is a combat sport of Thailand that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. This discipline is known as the "art of eight limbs" as it is characterized by the combined use of fists, elbows, knees, and shins. Muay Thai became widespread internationally in the late 20th to 21st century, when westernized practitioners from Thailand began competing in kickboxing, mixed rules matches, as well as matches under Muay Thai rules around the world. The professional league is governed by The Professional Boxing Association of Thailand (P.A.T) sanctioned by The Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT), and World Professional Muaythai Federation (WMF) overseas.

In Muay Thai his ring names are Daoden Muangsithep (Thai : ดาวเด่น เมืองศรีเทพ) and Khaosai Wangchomphu. (Thai : เขาทราย วังชมภู)

A ring name is a name assumed for professional purposes by a professional wrestler, martial artist or boxer.

Boxing style

Lacking the amateur boxing experience common to most Western professional boxers, Khaosai's skills originally were limited, and he relied on toughness and his fearsome punching power to win. His southpaw style was based on closing his opponent and firing his left hand whenever he saw an opening. His right hand was used mainly to judge the distance for his left. All of his knockouts came by his left, which is arguably the hardest single punch in the history of the lower weight classes.

As he gained experience, Khaosai began to develop into a more refined boxer, learning combination punching to complement his deadly left. His favorite punch, a straight left to the midsection, translates roughly as "the left hand that drills intestines." Incredibly strong, he was never out-muscled, while opponents who tried the traditional stick-and-move techniques found he had quick feet and was able to block their movements.

Boxing career

Khaosai began his international style boxing career in December 1980. He won all of his first six fights, which earned him a shot at the Thailand bantamweight (118-pound) title on July 29, 1981 against Sakda Saksuree. He lost on a points decision. It was to be the last fight he would ever lose in the ring.

Khaosai won his next three fights and claimed the Thai bantamweight title in 1982. He won 15 consecutive fights by knockout and climbed in the world rankings to become super flyweight (115-pound) WBA world champion Jiro Watanabe's mandatory challenger by the summer of 1984.

World Boxing Association organization

The World Boxing Association (WBA), formerly known as the National Boxing Association (NBA) is the oldest and one of four major organizations which sanction professional boxing bouts, alongside the IBF, WBC, and WBO. The WBA awards its world championship title at the professional level. Founded in the United States in 1921 by thirteen state representatives as the NBA, in 1962 it changed its name in recognition of boxing's growing popularity worldwide, and began to gain other nations as members.

Jiro Watanabe is a Japanese former boxer and current yakuza

When Watanabe failed to defend his title against Khaosai, the WBA stripped him and matched Khaosai against undefeated Eusebio Espinal for the vacant championship on November 21, 1984. Khaosai knocked out Espinal in the sixth round, beginning the longest title reign in his division's history.

Khaosai defended his WBA title 19 times over the next seven years, winning 16 of his title fights by knockouts. In the mid-1980s, when world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson was in his prime and scoring knockouts over everyone, boxing fans nicknamed Khaosai The Thai Tyson for knockout wins.

Mike Tyson American boxer

Michael Gerard Tyson is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1985 to 2005. He reigned as the undisputed world heavyweight champion and holds the record as the youngest boxer to win a heavyweight title at 20 years, four months and 22 days old. Tyson won his first 19 professional fights by knockout or stoppage, 12 of them in the first round. He won the WBC title in 1986 after stopping Trevor Berbick in the second round, and added the WBA and IBF titles after defeating James Smith and Tony Tucker in 1987. This made Tyson the first heavyweight boxer to simultaneously hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles, and the only heavyweight to successively unify them.

Khaosai fought only once outside of Asia, when he defended his title in 1986 against unbeaten (and future WBA bantamweight titleholder) Israel Contreras in Curaçao. He had two title fights in Kōbe, Japan, one in South Korea and one at Bung Karno Stadium, Indonesia. The rest were in Thailand, where he often fought for purses in excess of $100,000 in front of huge crowds. That, plus the fact that few top fighters anywhere were willing to challenge Khaosai, made him relatively unknown in the West.


Israel Contreras is a Venezuelan former professional boxer who won the World Boxing Association bantamweight title. He had a supporting role in the Mel Gibson film Apocalypto.

Curaçao island country in the Caribbean, part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Curaçao is a Lesser Antilles island in the southern Caribbean Sea and the Dutch Caribbean region, about 65 km (40 mi) north of the Venezuelan coast. It is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Japan Constitutional monarchy in East Asia

Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.

In 1988, his twin elder brother, fighting under the name Kaokor Galaxy, captured the WBA bantamweight title, making the Saenkham brothers the first twins to ever be world boxing champions. [1]

Retirement

He fought for the last time on December 21, 1991 in Bangkok, beating Armando Castro over 12 rounds. A few weeks later, he announced his retirement with a record of 50 wins against only one defeat, and never attempted a comeback.

Life after boxing

Not long after his retirement to the boxing profession, Khaosai chose to take part in the Thai entertainment industry. He first took a shot at the music industry, releasing a single, "Khob Khun Krub", meaning "Thank You", then began taking part in TV series and movies, particularly comedies. His first role as an actor occurred during the TV series Poot Mae Nam Khong (1992 version), which was then followed by Monrak luk thung (1995 version), The Legend of Suriyothai (2001), and The Bodyguard (2004) [3] etc. In 2005, while he was taking part in a film, he was punched in the face by a drunken fan, who wished to obtain Khaosai's shirt for collection but was denied. The incident made frontline news, which displayed a photo of Khaosai, with a bandage on his face but smiling and standing next to the drunk man.

In 2006, he starred in a music video for a song by fellow boxers Somluck Kamsing and Samart Payakaroon. In the video, Khaosai portrayed a shy man being approached by a young woman.

After retirement, he married the Japanese Yumiko Ota, whom he had met during a trip for his second fight with Kenji Matsumura in Kōbe, Japan in 1989. The couple lived together for only one year, and later divorced.

He later married a Buriram woman, Sureerat "Fah" Saenkham (née Niwesram). They had no children together, but Khaosai chose to take his wife's nephew as a stepchild. [4] .

In March 2013, he made news again when he unexpectedly was married again, this time to Wannapa "Nung" Kamboonsri, before obtaining a legal divorce from his previous wife. In 2013, he finally became a father at the age of 54, when his wife safely delivered a daughter. [5] [6] In 2016, his wife delivered a second daughter by the end of the year. [7]

Currently, he owns two Muay Thai gyms in Bangkok [8] and Phuket, [9] and was a trainer for Denkaosan Kaovichit in the fight against Takefumi Sakata which took place by the end of 2008 in Yokohama, Japan. (Denkaosan knocked his opponent out by the second round, becoming the next WBA flyweight champion). [3]

Besides boxing and entertainment, Khaosai has also flirted with politics. During the Thai general election, 2007, he was a candidate in the party-list of the Puea Pandin Party, but lost. Additionally, during the Thai general election, 2011, he became a candidate on behalf of the Chartthaipattana Party for his native Phetchabun 2nd district, but lost with only 8,485 votes. [3] .

Honors

He was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1999 and remains a well known Boxer throughout Thailand. [1]

He is the first Thai boxer to mark the beginning of the ceremony, offering gold necklaces and other prizes to Thai boxers before the every bout. It started with his retained the ninth title against the Korean contender Tae-Il Chang at Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm and Zoo, Samut Prakan in early 1989. [3]

And every time he fights, there is a saying that traffic in Bangkok was good, because everyone rushes home to see him on TV. [3]

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References

  1. 1 2 3 "'เขาทราย' ทะลวงไส้มวยไทย 'สิ้นมนต์ขลัง' มั่นใจ 'ปาเกียว' เสร็จผมแน่!". Thairath (in Thai). 27 February 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  2. "Are These Really the 80 Best Boxers Ever?". ThoughtCo. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "แฟนพันธุ์แท้ 2013 3 พ.ค. 56 (เขาทราย)". Fan Pan Tae (in Thai). 2013-05-03. Retrieved 2017-10-09.
  4. "ย้อนรอยตำนานรัก(ร้าว) ยอดแชมป์โลก 'เขาทราย แกแล็คซี่'". Thairath (in Thai). 2013-03-28. Retrieved 2017-10-09.
  5. "เขาทราย ยอมปริปาก บอกก็แค่แต่งงานเฉย ๆ เผย เตรียมแถลงข่าว". Kapook.com (in Thai).
  6. "เขาทราย เฮ ภรรยาคลอดลูกสาวแล้ว ตั้งชื่อ น้องไข่มุก". Kapook.com (in Thai).
  7. ""เขาทราย" ปลื้ม! ได้ลูกสาวคนที่ 2 "น้องโอลีฟ" เผยเรื่องน่าทึ่ง-ภรรยาสาวฝันก่อนเจ็บท้อง". Khaosod.co.th (in Thai).
  8. "เขาทราย แกแล็คซี ทุ่มงบ 1.5 ล้านเปิดค่ายสอนมวยไทยยิมส์". Channel 7 (in Thai). 2 September 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  9. "เขาทราย กาแล็คซี่ เปิดค่ายมวย ที่ จ.ภูเก็ต". Channel 7 (in Thai). 3 May 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
Preceded by
Jiro Watanabe
Vacates
WBA Super Flyweight Champion
21 Nov 19841992
Retires
Succeeded by
Katsuya Onizuka