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Pattaya Daily News

23 August 2008 :: 08:08:22 am 42956

Thai Boxers Cruise into Final Round of Beijing Boxing

BANGKOK, Aug 22 - Two Thai boxers - Somjit Jongjohor and Manus Boonjumnong- were poised to make history at Beijing Olympic Games Somjit could win his first gold medal while Manus is aiming for two gold medals in two consecutive Olympic Games, after they both won in the semi-final round on Friday.
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In-form Somjit outclassed Vincenzo Picardi of Italy 7-1 on points in the flyweight 51 kg division.

Somjit also met Picardi once in the semis of last year’s World Championships in Chicago in US, where he beat the Italian into the final round and eventually secured the silver medal. The 2007 world championship silver-medallist, 33, will meet Andris Laffita in the Beijing Olympics final on Saturday, after the Cuban’s last-gasp 9-8 semi-final win against Georgy Balakshin of Russia.

The Thai boxer is hoping to add Olympic gold to the world title he won back in 2003, with this Olympics definitely his last chance being too old for the next Olympics in London in 2012.

Somjit suffered a huge disappointment at the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004 when he was beaten by Cuban favourite and eventual champion Yuriokis Gamboa, despite taking a three-point lead into the final round.

He said the Saturday competition would be his last four rounds before he quit the boxing ring for good, after serving his country in the sport for 12 years.

“I would like to invite Thai fans to watch my final fight. I promise to make it an entertaining match and I will do my best for the country.”

Also in the ring on Friday was Manus, gold medalist from the Athens Games. He has a good chance to make history by being the first Thai to win two gold medals at two Olympics.

He has already become the first Thai to win medals at two successive Games, showing his boxing prowess in a simple 10-5 victory over Cuba’s Roniel Iglesias Sotolongo in the light welterweight 64 kg division.

Manus, who also won Asian Games gold in 2006, took control in the second round and received unexpected help through a two-point penalty in the third round when Iglesias head-butted his chin.

Manus, 28 is notorious for being a playboy who squandered prize money worth around 20 million baht within months after he claimed the light welterweight gold in Athens in 2004. But he returned to win the Asian Games gold medal in 2007, vowing his bad habits would be a thing of the past.

Manus will meet Felix Diaz of Dominican Republic in Saturday’s final after his dramatic 12-10 win over Alexis Vastine of France.(TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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