Khaosai Galaxy

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Khaosai Galaxy
เขาทราย แกแล็คซี่
Khaosai Galaxy 10.jpg
Born Sura Saenkham
(1959-05-15) May 15, 1959 (age 55)
Phetchabun, Thailand
Native name เขาทราย แกแล็คซี่
Other names The Thai Tyson
Nationality Thailand Thailand
Height 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)
Weight 115 lb (52 kg; 8.2 st)
Style Muay Thai, Boxing
Fighting out of Bangkok, Thailand
Years active 1980–1991
Professional boxing record
Total 50
Wins 49
By knockout 43
Losses 1
By knockout 0
Other information
Notable relatives Kaokor Galaxy, twin brother
Boxing record from Boxrec

Khaosai Galaxy (Thai: เขาทราย แกแล็คซี่, born, May 15, 1959) is a former professional Thai super flyweight 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. 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.

Muay Thai career[edit]

Khaosai was born as Sura Saenkham (Thai: สุระ แสนคำ) in Phetchabun province, Thailand. He was a Muay Thai fighter in the early 1980s, and took the professional name Galaxy from a nightclub owned by his manager. 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.

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

Boxing style[edit]

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[edit]

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.

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.

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 Japan, one in Korea and one in 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.

Retirement[edit]

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 "thought-to-be" (see Record Controversy) record of 49 wins against only one defeat, and never attempted a comeback.

Life After Boxing[edit]

Not long after his retirement to the boxing profession, Khaosai approached and took part in Thai entertainment industry, firstly, releasing his single of a song "Khob Khun Krub", meaning "thank you", then taking part in TV series and movies, particularly of a comedy type. In 2005, while he was taking part in a film making, he was punched in face by a drunk who was his boxing fan but wishing to obtain Khaosai's shirt for collection but was denied. The incident went on the first page of the next day paper with a photo of Khaosai standing next to the drunk guy both smiling while Khaosai having a bandage in his face.

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

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

Honors[edit]

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

Record controversy[edit]

A YouTube video was released on June 11, 2011, by JGmartinezJr, where an anonymous person held open a book (with cover and title that went unidentified during the video) reviewing the members of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, where he held the book firmly on the page reviewing Galaxy. The anonymous person stated that he had got a request on his internet video channel to show information that Ricardo Lopez, Lennox Lewis, Joe Calzaghe, Rocky Marciano and Khaosai Galaxy defeated everyone they faced. There in the book it showed that two months later in September 1981 that Galaxy faced Saksuree (the only boxer to beat him) again, and won in a six-round knock-out in a 10-round fight, thus avenging the loss and retiring with an official record of 50 wins and 1 loss (the book included having Galaxy's boxing record in it as well the written review). The anonymous person then finished the video, stating "what I want to know is, why isn't this win (over Saksuree) listed on Boxrec?". The anonymous person claimed at the start of the video that it was true and that he had the official book reviewing the International Boxing Hall of Fame to prove it.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Jiro Watanabe
Vacates
WBA Super Flyweight Champion
21 Nov 1984–1992
Retires
Succeeded by
Khaosai Galaxy