International Boxing Hall of Fame

Khaosai Galaxy

300px-Galaxy.Khaosai.jpg

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

Khaosai Galaxy (Thai: เขาทราย แกแล็คซี่, real name: Sura Saenkham) (born May 15, 1959) was one of the sport of boxing's greatest champions ever, and a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Muay Thai career

A native of Petchaboon, Thailand, Saenkham was a Muay Thai fighter in the early 1980s. He took the name of Galaxy from the name of nightclub that his manager owned. It became apparent then that Galaxy had immense punching power particularly in his to-become legendary left hand. On the advise of his manager and trainer he switched to western boxing and began the task of transforming into a boxer.

Boxing style

Due to his lack of amateur boxing experiences that were the backbone to western professional boxers, Galaxy boxing skills was limited and he relied on toughness and his fearsome punching power to carry him to victory. His southpaw style was based on getting in range close to his opponent and fire his left hand. His right hand was used to measure his opponent to gauge the range to fire his left hand. His left hand is responsible for all his knockouts and is arguably the hardest single punch amongst the lower weight fighters in history. As he got more experience, however, he began to develop into a more refined puncher obtaining other skills such as combination punching to compliment his deadly left. His favourite punch, a straight left to the mid section, in Thai roughly translates to "the left hand that drills intestines". Incredibly strong he was never outmuscled and opponents who try to employ the traditional stick and move found that he had quick feet and was able to cut off the ring very fast.

Boxing career

In December, 1980, he turned his attentions to orthodox boxing and promptly won his first six fights. That earned him a shot at the Thailand bantamweight (118-pound) title on July 29, 1981 against Sakda Saksuree. This was the only fight Galaxy would ever lose.

He won his next three fights and claimed the Thai bantamweight title early in 1982. After taking his only loss, Galaxy won 15 consecutive fights by knockout and shot up 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 Galaxy, the WBA stripped him and matched Galaxy against undefeated Eusebio Espinal for the vacant title on November 21, 1984. Galaxy knocked him out in the sixth round, beginning the longest title reign in his division's history.

Galaxy 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 tagged Galaxy with his nickname The Thai Tyson for his own propensity for knockout wins.

Galaxy fought only once outside the Orient, when he defended against unbeaten (and future WBA bantamweight titleholder) Israel Contreras in Cura�ao in 1986. He had two fights in Japan, both with the same man, one in Korea and one in Indonesia. The rest of his fights were in his native Thailand, where he often fought for purses in excess of $100,000 in front of huge crowds. That, and that few top fighters were willing to challenge Galaxy anywhere, made him relatively unknown except to boxing aficionados.

Retirement

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 record of 50 wins against only one defeat, and never attempted a comeback.

 Life After Boxing

Not long after his retirement to the boxing profession, he approached and took part in Thai hollywood with ease, firstly, releasing his single of a song "Khob Khun Krub", meaning "thank you", then taking part in tv series and movies, particularly in 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.

Trivia

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

He was elected to the boxing hall of fame in 1999 and remains a national hero in his native Thailand. He is regarded as the greatest Thai fighter of all time.

Preceded by
Jiro Watanabe
Vacates
WBA Super Flyweight Champion
21 Nov 1984�1992
Retires
Succeeded by
Katsuya Onizuka