Home Boxing News Pone Kingpetch, the man to start a Thai Revolution

Pone Kingpetch, the man to start a Thai Revolution

When it comes to Western boxing fans we often forget that boxing in the east takes place, despite Japan, Korea and Thailand having a massive list of world champions we never seem to recall them. Pone Kingpetch is one such as example.

Thailand’s first ever boxing champion would thrice rule the Flyweight division in the 1960’s, though he had a short and excellent career he only ever fought twice in the “West” from his debut and his retirement (fighting in Italy in 1965 and LA in 1960) which may explain his relative obscurity. Born in the mid 1930’s [see note 1] in Thailand he would first take part in a “Boxing” contest in the 1954 winning by KO in the second round, and he’d follow this with a points victory in his second contest. Though he would go on to lose 2 of his next 6 contests it was already obvious that he wasn’t a power puncher (he outpointed the 4 opponents he beat during those 6 contests) but was skilled.

He would avenge one of those 2 losses when he won the Thai Flyweight title, the first championship of his career. He would soon add the OPBF flyweight title though fail in an attempt to add the OPBF Bantamweight belt. He would fight a string of poor and rather unknown opposition as he awaited a world title fight and built up his record and experience. He was readying himself for the Argentinian champion Pascual Perez, the first Argentinian world champion and a former Olympic Gold Medal winner.

Having been world champion since 1954 and only beaten once in his career Perez was expected to come away with his title though was thoroughly out boxed by a taller rangier man. Kingpetch would use natural size advantages (7 inch in height) to out box the Argentinian and become the first World champion from Thailand. 5 months later Kingpetch would solidify his position as the best Flyweight in the world by going to the USA to stop the former champion in a rematch (it was the fist and only time Perez was stopped).

His reign would carry on for 2 years before he faced the Japanese icon Fighting Harada. Harada would take the WBA Flyweight title with his victory and inflict just the 4th loss of Kingpetch’s career. Harada’s reign would last just 3 months ad Kingpetch won the rematch by majority decision to take the belt back to Thailand.

His reign this time would be ended rather swiftly losing his first defence to Hiroyuki Ebihara in just 127 second. As was often the case through Kingpetch’s career he would win the rematch, taking a split decision win to become a 3 time world champion.

Though his career was well on the slide by then and it would be over a year before he fought again, in a losing contest to Salvatore Burruni from Italy. In his only fight on European soil Pone Kingpetch would be outpointed over the then 15 rounds distance. The following year he would fight twice, trying to ensure he went out with his arm raised he completed his record of 28-7 (9KO’s) [see note 2] and ensured his position as a national icon. Aged 46 Pone Kingpetch would die in Bangkok of pneumonia having opened the door to future boxers from his homeland.

Note 1-Harry Mullan’s “Ultimate Encyclopeadia of Boxing” says 1936 whilst Boxrec.com says 1955, a date Wikipedia also has.

Note 2-The aforementioned book states his record as 33-7 whilst Boxrec and wikipedia go with 28-7 as do Boxingscene.com

Note 3- Pone Kingpetch was also known by the name Mana Sridokbuab