Wedding bells to ring for champ

Srisaket proposes girlfriend at airport

Srisaket Sor Rungvisai kisses his girlfriend Patchareewan Kanha at Suvarnabhumi airport yesterday. Somchai Poomlard Somchai Poomlard

Boxing champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai shocked the world by knocking out Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez in their rematch at the weekend, and he surprised his girlfriend on arrival at Suvarnabhumi airport yesterday.

The super-flyweight title-holder made probably the most momentous decision of his life when he asked his long-time girlfriend, Patchareewan Kanha, to marry him in front of his parents, handlers and well-wishers at the airport.

"Will you marry me?" Srisaket asked.

"I will," Patchareewan replied.

Patchareewan said she wanted to marry Srisaket, whose real name is Wisaksil Wangek, and had been waiting for him to propose her.

"I plan to have four kids," she said.

Srisaket later told reporters: "I would like to thank Kay [Patchareewan's nickname] for her support all along. When I had difficulties in life, she was by my side. She kept encouraging me and telling me our day would eventually come."

Her never-give-up attitude, ingrained after living together for 14 years, came true for him when Srisaket, then a 14-1 underdog, stunned the world by dethroning Gonzalez of Nicaragua by a majority decision following a bloody slugfest at New York's Madison Square Garden in March this year.

Many boxing experts believed Gonzalez won that bout, which ended his unbeaten record.

However, the 30-year-old Thai erased any doubts with his stunning fourth-round knockout win at StubHub Center in Carson, California.

Srisaket, known in Thailand as Srisaket Nokornloung Promotion, was through several jobs before taking up boxing seriously, including being a security guard at a department store.

Srisaket's camp received around US$170,000 (about 5.6 million baht) from the rematch with Gonzalez, who got around $600,000.

"We will use the money to buy a house in Nonthaburi and a car," Patchareewan said.

His manager Surachart Pisitwutthinan said yesterday Srisaket would next face either Juan Francisco Estrada of Mexico or Japanese Naoya Inoue, the WBO champion in the same weight class.

He earlier said his boxer was ready to fight anywhere in the world expect Mexico.

"I want Srisaket to get US$1 million a fight but it is not likely," he said.

Srisaket (44-4-1, 40KOs) is ready for any opponent.

"I have shown that I am the best 115-pound fighter in the world," he said.

"I am not scared of anyone."

Back to top