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Boxing coach Fontanills quits, rules out return

Boxing coach Fontanills quits, rules out return

BOXING: Cuba’s Juan Fontanills says he has quit as coach of the national team because top officials at the Thailand Boxing Association (TBA) intervened in his job.

Boxing
By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 25 August 2020, 09:18AM


Cuban coach Juan Fontanills. Photo: Bangkok Post

Cuban coach Juan Fontanills. Photo: Bangkok Post

According to multiple reports in the Thai media yesterday (Aug 24), the coach, who left Thailand earlier this year, said in an interview that he was not happy with some TBA bosses.

Fontanills, who is now in Mexico, said he was assigned by the TBA to look after the men’s and women’s teams as well as the junior side.

He said he knew his boxers better than anyone else but was never given a free hand.

“Certain TBA executives intervened in my job so much that I was not happy and decided to return to Mexico,” he was quoted as saying.

However, he praised TBA technical chief Somchai Poonsawat for his knowledge and understanding of the sport.

“I got along well with Somchai because he has boxing knowledge and understands boxing,” said the veteran Cuban coach.

Fontanills first arrived in Thailand in the 1990s and guided three Thai boxers to win Olympic gold medals – Somluck Kamsing (1996), Wijarn Ponlid (2000) and Manus Boonjumnong (2004) – among other achievements.

After his contract expired following the 2004 Athens Olympics, Fontanills was appointed as coach of the Mexican national team.

He began his second stint in the Kingdom in 2018 after the Thai boxing team finished empty-handed at the 2016 Olympics.

His main job was to help Thai boxing bring back Olympic glory at the 2020 Tokyo Games which have been postponed until next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under Fontanills, several Thai boxers have already secured tickets to next year’s Olympics.

In the interview, he said the Thai women’s boxers could win Olympic medals but he dismissed the men’s chances in Tokyo.

“It is unlikely that I will return to work in Thailand,” the Cuban said.

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