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TBA pins its hopes on local coaching staff

TBA pins its hopes on local coaching staff

BOXING: The Thailand Boxing Association (TBA) is now looking forward to life without Cuban coach Juan Fontanills, President Pichai Chunhavajira said yesterday (Aug 31).

BoxingOlympics
By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 1 September 2020, 02:40PM


TBA chief Pichai Chunhavajira attends a press conference yesterday (Aug 31). Photo: AFP.

TBA chief Pichai Chunhavajira attends a press conference yesterday (Aug 31). Photo: AFP.

Fontanills said last week that he had quit as coach of the Thai national team because he was unhappy that Pichai and TBA secretary-general Chaiwat Chotima interfered in his job.

Pichai held a press conference yesterday along with Chaiwat and TBA technical chief Somchai Poonsawat.

He said he holds no grudge against Fontanills, who is now in Mexico, and insisted the TBA did not meddle in his work.

“It’s normal to have different opinions. Fontanills has the right to express his opinion,” Pichai said.

“From now the Thai coaching staff will look after the boxers.”

He said he would consult Somchai on whether the TBA should hire another foreign coach.

Somchai added that he would ask former world boxing champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai to spar with TBA fighters.

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

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

He returned to Thailand in 2018 after the Thai boxing team finished empty-handed at the 2016 Olympics.

Under Fontanills, four Thai boxers have already secured tickets to the Tokyo Games.

There will be another qualifying event for the Tokyo Olympics next year and the TBA hopes to get a few more slots.

Somchai said yesterday the TBA had learned a lesson from its failure at the 2016 Rio Games.

“I have confidence in our boxers and coaches. I believe we will win medals at the Tokyo Games,” he said.

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