Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday vowed to support Thailand's professional boxing.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is flanked by boxing champions Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, right, and Kompayak Porpramook. CHANAT KATANYU
Yingluck welcomed WBC super-flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and WBA interim flyweight champion Kompayak Porpramook who paid a courtesy call on her at Government House.
She praised them for doing great jobs in winning their titles which she said helped promote the country.
"I will ask concerned parties to give support to professional boxing," she said.
Kompayak's manager Nattadej Wachirarattanawongse said that he was really pleased that the government paid attention to boxing.
"Boxers are like the country's ambassadors," he said. "The prime minister's promise will make us work harder."
However, Srisaket's promoter Surachart Pisitwutthinan was cautious about the premier's pledge.
Many years ago, he said, the then-tourism and sports minister also made a similar promise but boxing had since not got enough support from the government.
"The cost of organising a fight is more than 10 million baht," he said.
"It is hard to get sponsors and we need financial support from the government."
Traditionally, championship bouts are funded by politicians but they have lately been reluctant to pay for this.
Srisaket is Thailand's only recognised world boxing champion at the moment after he dethorned Japan's Yota Sator in his hometown of Si Sa Ket last month.
He is expected to fight in a warm-up bout in Lop Buri next month before his first title defence later this year.
About the author
- Writer: Kittipong Thongsombat