CHERRY SOR WANICH (Career 1980-1990)
Cherry Sor Wanich was born on June 30, 1969 in the village of Khok Klang near the town of Nong Ruea in the province of Khon Kaen (North East Region). His birth name is Suriyan Srikan.
Suriyan came from a boxing family that included 6 children, 5 boys and a girl. Four boys were boxers. Suriyan’s older brother who was a professional boxer took the young Suriyan to a camp in Chanthaburi province, Sor Sophonsak Gym. The Chanthaburi region is an area right next to Pattaya. Suriyan was 12 when he started boxing with his first teacher named Sophonsak. Mr. Boonthanom was the owner of the camp where Suriyan’s uncle, Khru Yongyut was located. Suriyan made his first fight under the name Cherry Sor Sophonsak. Then, Cherry took the name of Cherry Sitponimit from Master Phayom Phromachat camp.
Cherry then returned to the Khon Kean region and fought under the name Khoklangnoi Singkhoklang in the Isaan provinces.
At the age of 17, he joined the Sor Wanich camp which belonged to Mrs. Suda Wanich. The camp was in the city of Chonburi, a city in the eastern region of Thailand. It is located on the Gulf of Thailand, about 100 km from Bangkok.
Cherry represented the Sor Wanich Gym throughout his career in the stadiums of Bangkok. The Sor Wanich Gym included champions such as Anajak Sor Wanich, Changnoï Sor Wanich, Mikael Sor Sukonthip (The Sor Wanich Gym was also known as Sor Sukonthip), Racharit Sor Wanich, Palangdech Sor Wanich.
Muay Thai fans gave him the fighter nickname of “Khun Khao Chalamdam” (Black Shark Kneeling) because he was a formidable “Muay Khao” (Strong knees).
In his heyday, Cherry won 150,000 baht purses, his biggest purse was 250,000 baht. He made more than 100 fights including about fifty in the stadiums of Lumpinee and Radja, the two largest stadiums of Bangkok.
In 1988 Cherry won 10 fights in a row, this wonder boy was the rising star of the moment in the 126-130 lbs category. He beat the great champion Bangklanoi Sor Thanikul (2 times Lumpinee champion) and won an important tournament.
This year, Cherry took part in a famous tournament in Omnoï stadium, the “Tiger Power XD-3” tournament which was organized by the great promoter Songchai Ratanasuban. A tournament in which he faced Kanongsuk, Rachaput, Rak, Laonoi and Boonchai.
On August 6, Cherry beat Kanongsuk Sityomnoi in points, on September 3, Rachaput Sor Thanikul, on October 8, Rak Sakdiprasang by KO and on November 5, Laonoi Sityodtong with a victory in points.
On December 17th, in Omnoi stadium, for the final of the “Tiger Power XD-3” Tournament, Cherry met Boonchai Thor Thuwanon from Nakhon Si Tammarat, one of the best boxers in the south of the country. Cherry had a great match and won the famous tournament with the sum of 100,000 baht!
Cherry Sor Wanich became a “Yod Muay” (Top Champion) in 1989 thanks to his superb victories over the greatest champions of the stadiums of Bangkok.
In January, he drew against Sanphetch Lukrangsree.
On Tuesday February 21, 1989, in the stadium of Lumpinee, the young Cherry found Sanphetch Lukrangsree and beat him in points.
On Friday March 10, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Cherry made a big fight against the durable boxer Dokmaypha Por Pongsawang with in the final a draw between the two champions.
On April 7, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Cherry met a monument of Muay Thai, the terrible puncher Samransak Muangsurin (Lumpinee Champion in 126 lbs) nicknamed “Aymatsaklek” (The steel fist). Samransak (30 years old) had a lot more experience than young Cherry (20 years old), he had beaten killers such as Kongtoranee, Saencheung (KO), Chanchaï (KO), Saengsakada (KO), Yoknoi (KO), Jareonthong, Dokmaypha. The two champions had a great fight that ended in a draw.
The revenge between Cherry and Samransak took place on Friday May 12 in the stadium of Ratchadamnoen. After a big fight, Cherry beat puncher Samransak Muangsurin on points!
On May 30, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Cherry defeated the immense champion, the technician Chanchai Sor Thamrangsee (Lumpinee Champion in 118 lbs and in 126 lbs) who was nicknamed “Phud 2” (Second Poot) in reference to the legend rings, Phud Lao Lek.
For his fight against Chanchai, Cherry received a purse of 70,000 baht, he gave half of his purse to his camp and 15,000 baht to his parents.
At the beginning of June, in the stadium of Radja, Cherry challenged the great star of the 80s, the formidable Muay Bouk (Fighter who advances) Namphon Nong Kee Pahuyuth (Lumpinee Champion in 112 lbs and in 126 lbs). Cherry and Namphon (RIP) fought a terrible battle at the end of which Cherry emerged victorious!
Cherry has met four times the great champion Namphon Nong Kee Pahuyuth (Brother of champion Namkabuan) with two points wins for Cherry and they have drawn two matches.
On June 29, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Cherry met the young wolf Jaroenthong Kietbanchong (21 years old) who had just beaten Samransak Muangsurin for the Lumpinee belt in 126 lbs (November 25, 1988). The two young stars had a superb fight and Cherry won the match on points. Cherry and Jaroenthong have faced each other four times with two wins for Cherry, one win for Jaroenthong and one draw.
The fight between Jaroenthong Kiatbanchong and Cherry Sor Wanich was voted “Best fight of the year in 1989”!
On Tuesday July 25, in the stadium of Lumpinee, in a big event organized by the promoter Songchai Ratanasuban, Cherry fought for the supreme title of Lumpinee in 130 lbs. His opponent was the dangerous “Manut Hin” (The Stone Man) Saencheung Pinsinchai (Lumpinee Champion in 115 lbs and 122 lbs). After a magnificent match, Cherry won on points and won the Lumpinee belt in 130 lbs!
On August 15, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Cherry found Jaroenthong who beat him on points.
The revenge between Saencheung and Cherry took place on Friday October 6 in the stadium of Lumpinee. Cherry has again beaten the old backpacker from the rings Saencheung Pinsinchai for the defense of his Lumpinee belt in 130 lbs, Cherry has retained his title brilliantly!
On Tuesday, November 7, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Cherry and Namphon again fought a big war in the ring which ended in a draw. They met on November 28, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Cherry and Namphon again made a draw.
That same year, Cherry was the first to do a special fight against two opponents in the same match. This fight took place for the first time in France. A match in which pokes was not allowed.
In December, in Paris, at the Halle Carpentier, Cherry faced two great French champions of the time, Jo Prestia and Joel César. The Thai who weighed 62 Kg first beat Jo Prestia (65 Kg) on points in three rounds. Then, he did the last two rounds with Joel César (63 kg) whom he beat on points. The fight was broadcast live on a Thai TV channel.
In 1990, Tuesday February 6, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Cherry made again a sumptuous match vis-a-vis the terrible collector Namphon Nongkhee Pahuyut with in the final a victory in points of Chalam Dam!
On Friday March 30, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Cherry beat the formidable puncher Superlek Sor Isaan (Lumpinee Champion in 122 lbs and in 126 lbs) by stopping the referee in the fourth round following a hard series of knees from Chalam Dam. Cherry and Superlek have met five times with two wins for Cherry and three wins for Superlek.
On May 26, 1990, in Holland, Amsterdam, in a big show Holland against Thailand, Cherry Sor Wanich challenged the Dutch puncher Ramon “The Diamond” Dekkers. Ramon, aged 21, was in top form at the time, he had just won the world champion’s belt against Namphon Nong Khee Pahuyut. The Diamond knocked out Cherry in the first round with a dazzling right hook…
On Friday June 29, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Cherry and Jaroenthong performed again a superb fight which ended in a draw. The two fighters received the prize for the best match of the evening!
On August 31, in the stadium of Lumpinee, during the Holland against Thailand show where Ramon Dekkers fought against Superlek Sor Isaan (Victory in points for Ramon Dekkers), Peter Smith against Changpuek Kiatsongrit (Victory by KO of Peter Smith for the IMF world belt), and Leo De Snoo against Chartsingh Lukprabath (Victory by KO of Leo De Snoo for the IMF world belt), Cherry Sor Wanich beat the great champion Therdkiat Sithepitak (Lumpinee Champion in 122 lbs and 126 lbs) on points. Therdkiat and Cherry have met three times with two wins for Cherry and one win for Therdkiat.
A month later, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Cherry again beat Thedkiat Sitthepitak by points.
On October 12, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Chala Dam defeated a second time the puncher Superlek Sor Isaan (Victory in points).
But on November 27, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Superlek took a brilliant revenge against Cherry. After a tough battle, Superlek knocked out Cherry in the fifth round…
1991 was not a very good year for Khon Kaen’s Black Shark as he lost by KO against Sangtiennoi and he lost his Lumpinee belt against Namkabuan.
On January 4, 1991, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Cherry faced Muay Bouk Sangtiennoi Sor Rungroj (Radja champion in 130 lbs, Lumpinee champion in 135 lbs). The N ° 1 of Radja challenged the N ° 1 of Lumpinee. Cherry was caught at his own game against Sangtiennoi who knocked him out with a terrible knee to the chin in the third round!
On May 31, in the stadium of Lumpinee, the Fimeuu of rings Namkabuan Nongkhee Pahuyut stole the belt of Lumpinee in 130 lbs at Chalam Dam…
On September 3, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Cherry lost on points against the formidable puncher Wangchannoi Sor Palangchai (Best boxer of the year 1993, Lumpinee champion in 118 lbs and in 122 lbs).
On Friday October 25, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Cherry won a great victory in points against the star of the moment Boonlay Sor Thanikul (Lumpinee Champion in 115 lbs and 122 lbs). Cherry and Boonlay have faced each other twice with one victory each.
On November 3, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Cherry did again another formidable battle against the incredible puncher “Wonderman” Wangchannoi Sor Palangchai. Wangchannoi ended the match exhausted by knee strikes from Chalam Dam but took the victory on points.
1992 was a better year for Cherry who beat big names like Orono, Oley, Chandej and Jaroenthong. But he lost hard against punchers Wangchannoi and Superlek.
On Tuesday January 21, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Cherry met the young Sakmongkol Sitchuchok (19 years old) who became the Lumpinee champion in 135 lbs in 1994. Sakmongkol beat Cherry on points. Sakmongkol beat Cherry twice on points.
On Friday February 21, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Cherry made a great match against the terrible Muay Bouk Orono Por Muang Ubon (Best boxer of the year 1994, Lumpinee champion in 135 lbs) and beat him on points!
On March 10, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Cherry achieved an excellent performance against the magnificent technician Oley Kiatonway (Lumpinee Champion in 115 lbs). Following a swordmage series of knees, the Black Shark was defeated by KO Khaimukdam Andaman ”(Andaman’s Black Pearl)!
But on Tuesday April 7, Cherry lost by KO in the second round against puncher Wangchannoi Sor Palangchai…
On June 9, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Cherry beat Chandej Sor Prantalay by points.
On July 7, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Cherry made the rematch against Sangtiennoi Sor Rungroj and Sangtiennoi again beat Cherry but on points…
On September 25, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Cherry beat his eternal rival Jaroenthong.
On October 13, in the stadium of Lumpinee, for their third confrontation, Cherry lost on points against Thedkiat Sitthepitak.
On Monday, November 30, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Cherry suffered a hard KO in the second round against Superlek Sor Isaan…
In 1993, on Friday January 8, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Cherry again beat the iron head Orono Por Muang Ubon.
On February 22, in the stadium of Radja, he defeated the technician Buakaw Por Pisitchet. But on March 4, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Cherry lost again by KO against Superlek Sor Isaan…
On April 30, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Rittichai Lookmaesaithong beat Cherry on points. Cherry then lost in points, on August 13, in the stadium of Lumpinee, against Chotchaï Chuchockchai and on October 18, in the stadium of Radja, against the rough “Say Mongkon” (the left-handed dragon) Matee Jedeepitak.
Cherry still made some great matches but it was not the same Cherry of the end of the Eighties any more. On Tuesday February 15, 1994, in the stadium of Lumpinee, he lost in points against Orono Por Muang Ubon. On May 23, 1995, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Den Muangsurin beat Cherry on points. On June 10, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Cherry lost on points against the super technician Chatchai Paiseethong. But a few months later, Cherry beat in points, in the stadium of Lumpinee, the Dutch terror Ramon Dekkers!
Cherry also made two great matches against Jongsanan Fairtex (Lumpinee Champion in 135 lbs) nicknamed The Wooden Man who beat him twice on points.
In 1996, for one of his last fights, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Cherry lost on points against Prabseuklek Sit Narong in the 140 lbs category…
After his career, Cherry Sor Wanich served as a China Personality Bodyguard in Macau for several years.
Cherry made Muay Thai history by being one of the most formidable champions with his knee kicking techniques from the Golden Age of Muay Thai. Chalam Dam beat the best champions of the 90s such as Samransak Muangsurin, Namphon Nong Kee Pahuyuth, Saencheung Pinsinchaï, Chanchai Sor Thamrangsee, Superlek Sor Isaan (KO), Thedkiet Sitthepikat, Jaroenthong Kiatbanchong, Orono Por Muang Ubon, Buakaw Por Pisichet, Chodchoi Chuchokchaï, Boonchai Huasaigym, Oley Kiatnoneway (KO), Boonlay Sor Thanikul, Panomrunglek Sor Sawath, Chandej Sor Prantalay, Bangklanoi Sor Thanikul!
BY SERGE TREFEU