Thailand’s Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym is hopeful that a little divine inspiration will help him to rip the WBA world super bantamweight title from Bernard Dunne. Poonsawat arrived in Dublin at the weekend ahead of Saturday’s Hunky Dorys World Title Fight Night at The O2 and the number one challenger is confident that he will be packing Dunne’s world title belt in to his suitcase for the return leg of his journey.
Photos: Brian Peters Promotions
Click the photo to go to the next photo
Poonsawat says he has left no stone unturned in preparation for the bout, including changing his name on the advice of a Monk to bring him extra luck. Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym may be his boxing name (in a tribute to his sponsor) but the 28-year-old’s real name is, or at least was Prakorb Udomna. However just like the legendary middleweight “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler the Thai challenger has changed his name by deed poll for the sake of his boxing career.
The Sakon Nakhon native is now known as Chalermwong Udomna having sought the advice of a Buddhist monk in the run up to his contest with Dunne. ‘Chalermwong’ translates to ‘honor for family’ and the monk promised him that his new name would increase his chances of bringing the world title back to his family and an expectant public in Thailand.
“Hopefully it will give me an extra boost,” explained the boxer in an interview with the Bangkok Post. “I know some people don’t believe this kind of thing works but I think it does.”
Dunne would surely beg to differ but the man known as ‘Thailand’s Manny Pacquiao’ is bullish about his chances on Saturday night and has already predicted a knockout win inside 7 rounds. “I am confident my power will make the difference in this fight,” claimed Poonsawat. “Dunne has fast hands, and he is also very accurate, but his chin is suspect and I am looking to make the most of that.”
With 38 wins from his 39 pro fights, Poonsawat is clearly a force to be reckoned with and he says that he wants to do for boxing in Thailand what Manny Pacquiao has done for the sport in the Philippines courtesy of his sensational wins over the likes of Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton. “Pacquiao is the best boxer in the sport at the moment and he has made his homeland famous,” said Poonsawat.
“I want to give Thailand a big name too and make fans realize that Asia doesn’t just have Manny Pacquiao. However, I don’t want to be known as Thailand’s Manny Pacquiao. I want to be known as Poonsawat of Thailand. The fight with Dunne will be widely publicized so the world will know that Thailand produces good boxers. My dream is to make Thailand number one again.”
Dunne vs Poonsawat headlines the Hunky Dorys world title fight night at the O2 on Saturday, September 26th with 6’9″ unbeaten heavyweight Tyson Fury featuring on the undercard in a special attraction. An intriguing all-Irish affair will see undefeated duo Jamie Power (Limerick) and Michael Sweeney (Mayo) put their unbeaten records on the line against each other over 8 rounds at light heavyweight.
Reigning Irish welterweight champion, Stephen Haughian will also feature as he takes on Estonia’s Albert Starikov while three Dublin favorites also take to the ring with current Irish and IBF international featherweight champ Patrick Hyland, former Irish lightweight champ Oisin Fagan and exciting middleweight Anthony Fitzgerald featuring in separate bouts.
Tickets for the Hunky Dorys world title fight night are priced from €50 and are available from Ticketmaster (phone 0818 719 300 or visit ticketmaster.ie). Tickets are also available from Ticketmaster outlets nationwide.