Saensak Muangsurin

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April 17, 2009 – Former two-time WBC light-welterweight (1975-78) champion Saensak Muangsurin passed away in Thailand on April 16, 2009 at the age of 58. Muangsurin won the WBC light-welterweight title on July 15, 1975 in only his third professional fight with an eighth round knockout of Spaniard Perico Fernandez, just six months after turning pro. He then lost his title by disqualification to Miguel Velasquez of Spain but regained it in a rematch with Velasquez by kayo in 2 rounds. Saensak then defended his title seven times before a surprising loss to Sang Huyn Kim of Korea. In all, Muangsurin only had 20 fights in his career, losing 5 of his last 6 bouts for a total record of 14-6 (11 KOs). Muangsurin successfully defended his title against quality competition such as Monroe Brooks, Mike Everett, and Saul Mamby. In his only appearance in the United States he was kayoed in Detroit by Thomas Hearns in 3 rounds on Oct. 18, 1979. Muangsurin’s battle with Monroe Brooks (TKO 15) was a classic with the champion going once to the canvas and Brooks twice. In his glory days, Saensak was a darling of the Thai press and public, married a famous Thai movie star and lived in grand style. Sadly, Muangsurin’s ride at the top was short-lived. He lost his ring earnings, was abandoned by his wife and confronted depression and health problems, a tragic fate all too common to boxing champions. But the memories Muangsurin has left as a brave warrior and champion in his short-but-full career will not be forgotten.