Boonlert quits as TBA chief

Gen Boonlert Kaewprasit has stepped down as Thailand's amateur boxing chief, officials said yesterday.

The move was a formality as Boonlert announced his resignation after the Thai boxing team failed to win gold at the 2012 Olympics.

Silver medallist Kaew Pongprayoon was Thailand's only successful boxer at the London Games. It was the first time that Thailand could not win gold in boxing since the 1996 Olympics.

Montri Chaipan, deputy governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT), said Boonlert submitted his resignation on Jan 31 with an election for a new president of the Thailand Boxing Association (TBA) set for Feb 23.

Boonlert reportedly backs Pichai Chunhavajira, chairman of Bangchak Petroleum Plc, to succeed him. Pichai was a TBA board member under Boonlert and also the 2012 Olympic boxing team manager.

However, observers believe it may not be easy for Pichai to get the position which is traditionally for a military officer.

In 2011, Boonlert became the first president of the TBA which was established after the previous governing body Amateur Boxing Association of Thailand (Abat) was disbanded by both the International [Amateur] Boxing Association (Aiba) and the SAT.

Reportedly backed by the SAT and the Thai Olympic committee, Boonlert was elected TBA president unopposed.

Boonlert was scheduled to hold a press conference to publicly announce his resignation yesterday but the function was cancelled because he got ill.

About the author

Writer: Kittipong Thongsombat
Position: Reporter