By Damrong Simakajornboon
This was a tragedy of Thailand’s boxing when we lost a superior fighter. IBF#3 superbantam Thangthong Kiettaweesuk, who just defeated IBF#4 Macbute Sinyabi in the IBF title eliminator bout on May 18, passed away today at 11:30 AM (GMT+7) of May 26 from a car accident. The local news reported that Thangthong lost his car’s control during a heavy rain when he was driving to his hometown in the Trad Province. His car clashed with a big wayside tree, instantly killing him, his wife and also his 2 nephews. In addition, two of Thangthong’s daughters got a severe wound and they were immediately brought to provincial Hospital of Chantaburi. We all need to pray for Thangthong’s children to have a safe and timely recovery.
Thangthong Kiettaweesuk, his real name was Thangthong Klongjan, was born on August 13, 1978 at a remote village in Bo Rai District, Trad Province. Same as most of the famous Thai fighters, he started his martial-art career as a Muaythai fighter which he got a moderate success, occupying the Muaythai 105lb title of Famous Lumpini Stadium during 1999-2001. Then, he turned to Amateur Boxing, being a member of the Thai National Squad and winning a silver medal in the Southeast Asian Games in 2005 in Manila. In 2007, he turned to professional boxing and rapidly grabbed the IBF Pan Pacific 118lb belt during his sixth professional bout by defeating Korean I-hon Kim. Thangthong smoothly progressed on his boxing career, retaining his IBF regional crown 11 times and also earning the WBC international 118lb title with an impressive victory over Kenyan Nick Otieno, then he jumped to 122lb division and captured the IBF Pan Pacific title with an easy win over Indonesian champion Richard Samosir on May 20, 2011. As a result of his last impressive victory over Macbute Sinyabi on May 18, he became the IBF mandatory challenger to fight with the winner of the IBF-WBO unification bout between Nonito Donaire and Jeffrey Mathebula. Calamitously, his chance was finished by this tragedy which also ended his record to 24-0 (17KOs).
May God rest their souls in Peace.