On the fateful day of October 13th 2006, The World Boxing Council and the entire Boxing Family was plunged into deep mourning, following the death in Bangkok of Thailand`s long reigning King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
The Monarch of Monarchs was a passionate, devoted and supporting boxing fan. So much so that he steadfastly remained standing steadfast and unbowed, in the first row of the National Stadium, as a ferocious hurricane swept through Bangkok during the bantamweight championship between France`s Robert Cohen, the then champion, and local, Chamrern Songkitrat, (challenger).
That legendary bout, which came to pass on September 19th, 1954 and has passed into history, being aptly dubbed: “Typhon Battle.”
King Bhumibol always lauded our dear President, Don Jose Sulaiman Chagnon, who he twice received at his palace, in the most welcoming, friendly and delightful way. In 1993, the King awarded Don Jose with the Medal of Order, Third Degree, of the Kingdom, recognizing his inspirational, exceptional and sustained efforts to project, develop, progress and flourish boxing to its zenith, realizing the fabulous potential of the nation of Thailand.
In 2003, The King recognized our Don Jose once again. This time with the Royal Decoration “II Class Knight Commander of the Most Admirable Order of Direkgunabhorn.” it was for Don Jose´s marvellous ongoing work, but also and especially for his eternal and trusted friendship to Thailand and its people. We are convinced Don Jose deserved all the honourable titles due to his great and constant support for our Thai contenders and champions. Well-earned and deserved accolades for hard work always coupled with the handshake of heartfelt loyalty. A special team prepared a video for our King, and it was shared by our WBC champions to honour the wonderful memories they gave us. Our dear General Kovid Bhakdibhumi also accompanied Mr Edward Tangaraja to make an historic visit to our beloved King at his palace in Klaikungvol Hua Hin.
Twenty years ago, the WBC introduced the national sport of Thailand, better known as “Muay Thai” into Mexico. A sport that has had earned as well as won a lot of sustained success, attracting many fans. Even some magnificent Mexican exponents have competed and with marked success, in the ancient Siam Kingdom.
A timely and fitting response to the King, who`d personally requested Don Jose, for the WBC to sanction Muay Thai in Mexico. A dream come true, continuing and flourishing, due to by our current President, Mauricio Sulaiman Saldivar, who is also a passionate Muay Thai fan and an avid admirer of Thai culture. Thailand forever holds a special place in the heart and soul of the World Boxing Council.
The much-loved King, who was adored, respected and revered by his people, was born on December 5th 1927. He married Queen Sirikit, and they had four children: Ubolrantana Rajkanya, Maha Vajiralongkorn, who is now the King, Sirindhorn and Chulabhorn Walslailak.
He had a considerable devotion to kingship and was recognized as the longest reign, spanning 70 years. Since it began in 1946, and he used his considerable skills to often bring about calm, wisdom and unity throughout Thailand, the country he so loved and served so well during a memorable lifetime.
The World Boxing Council celebrated six fantastic and unforgettable Conventions in this wonderful country . Three of them took place in Bangkok and the other ones were in Phuket, Chiang Mai and Pattaya.
Following the passing of His Majesty, The Prime Minister of Thailand has announced a year of mourning.
May the Dear King, who was beloved, devoted World Boxing Council supporter, ally and so valued friend, rest in eternal peace! What he achieved is enshrined in history and beyond estimation. The memories will last forever. He was a King of a nation and also…an Emperor of Boxing.