Thailand's reformed playboy Manus Boonjumnong has vowed to shave his head and enter a Buddhist monastery after winning an Asian Games boxing gold medal here.
Manus said he will don the saffron robes as soon as he returns to Bangkok and will avoid making the same mistake he made two years ago after he won the Olympic gold medal.
The handsome Thai fighter became a household name in his country following the 2002 Athens Olympic win in the light-welterweight division.
But he soon abandoned boxing to embark on a celebrity career of partying and gambling, frittering away hundreds of thousand of dollars in prize money.
His taste for the high life made him a staple of the gossip columns, damaging his reputation and straining his marriage.
"That is all in the past now," said Manus, after the 26-year-old clinched a 22-11 points win over South Korea's Shin Myung-Hoon in the final to win the Asian Games 64kg light-welterweight final on Tuesday.
"You will see a new me," he said. "I am going to concentrate on being a good father to my three children."
Thai males are required by tradition to spend a short period of time in a Buddhist monastery, normally around two weeks, and Manus said he would respect the custom.
"I will spend about 14 days in the monastery and then I will resume training. There will be no mistakes this time," he said.
The Thai boxer rose to prominence after winning a bronze medal at the world championships in 2003 and then scoring an upset victory at the Olympics the following year.
He outpointed Cuban favorite Yudel Johnson in the 64kg final to become only the third Thai to win an Olympic gold medal.
But he turned his back on the sport for two years after his Olympic triumph, running through a reported US$600,000 in prize money and forcing his wife to leave him.
He made his return to the ring at the Asian Games in Doha following a two-month training stint in Cuba.
"I would like to thank my coach Juan Fontanills, who trained me hard during my two months in Cuba. There, I could not go anywhere -- no drinking, no gambling. Just training, sleeping and sparring," he said.
He also thanked the Thai boxing federation for giving him a second chance to revive his career and said that from now on, he would focus on boxing.
"When I come out of the monastery, boxing will be my priority and I will return immediately to the Thai training camp," he said.
His next major international event will be the Southeast Asian Games one year from now, a stepping stone towards the longer-term target of retaining his title at the Beijing Olympics.
"I am devoting myself to that goal," he said.
‘CRIMINAL ACT’: The UCI said it ‘strongly condemns’ Dylan Groenewegen’s ‘dangerous behavior,’ which left Jakobsen in critical condition and injured other cyclists Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was in a coma on Wednesday, in “serious” condition, after he was thrown into and over a barrier at 80kph in the conclusion to the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne. Footage showed 23-year-old Jakobsen, of the Deceuninck-Quick-Step, racing elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen of Jumbo-Visma as both men frantically tussled in a tight sprint to the line in Katowice. However, Jakobsen came off worst, somersaulting over the barriers before colliding with a photographer after Groenewegen had veered suddenly to the right, squeezing his rival into the security wall. “His condition is very serious. His life is
Growing concern over health standards in e-sports has prompted a new federation to pledge to address the problem, as players fall victim to conditions ranging from wrist injuries to obesity, stress and diabetes. The retirement of top Chinese player Jian Zihao, better known by his gaming handle “Uzi,” sent tremors through the booming sport, whose revenues are predicted to reach US$1.1 billion this year, according to industry analyst Newzoo. The 23-year-old, hailed as an “icon” of the League of Legends game, stepped away from e-sports in June, saying that “chronic stress, obesity, irregular diet, staying up late and other reasons” had given
WEEKEND MATCHES: While Tatung FC made good on their chances early on, Taiwan Steel rallied to win the game 2-3 and move to the top with Taichung Futuro Sunday’s action saw Taichung Futuro, Taipower FC and Taiwan Steel tied for first place on 30 points in the Taiwan Football Premier League, while Hang Yuan FC picked up a point to take the No. 4 spot on 25 points after holding Taipower to a scoreless draw. In Taoyuan, Tatung FC hosted Taiwan Steel. It was an exciting matchup, as the visitors rallied from 2-0 down to take the game with three goals. Tatung made good on their chances early on. Honduran midfielder Elias Argueta opened the account 15 minutes into the game with a low shot from the right. Three minutes
Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a scathing attack on the next generation of snooker players after he made the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship on Sunday, ending Chinese star Ding Junhui’s world championship dream. The mercurial 44-year-old Englishman won an enthralling high-quality second-round encounter 13-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with three-time champion Mark Williams. When asked by the BBC whether he thought he would remain at the top of the game for this long, the Briton, who turned professional in 1992, said the poor quality of younger players had secured his position and that something drastic would have to happen