Undefeated minimumweight king Wanheng Menayothin unexpectedly announced his retirement over the weekend, but as it turns out, the situation may not be as clear-cut as it looks. The WBC’s Asian Boxing Council claims that “Five-Star Grilled Chicken” “has not retired from professional boxing” and “will look to make the next defense of his WBC world title in the coming months,” while Wanheng has reportedly deleted his Facebook post on the subject.
Asian Boxing cites a report from Komthai, which spoke to Wanheng’s (54-0, 18 KO) manager, promoter, and trainer. As it is, obviously, written in Thai, farangs like me have to live with Google Translate. Assuming the translation doesn’t mangle things too badly, the general gist is:
- Wanheng himself posted to Facebook afterwards that he made the initial announcement without consulting his lead trainer and is waiting to hear back from the doctor on a nose injury that’s affecting his breathing.
- His trainer claims that Wanheng has been “anxious” over constantly training and managing weight while fights fell through, prompting the champ to make the retirement post. He was expected to make his U.S. debut on April 25th against Marco John Rementizo, one of four title fights on the ill-fated Sergey Kovalev-Sullivan Barrera card in Indio.
- His promoter brings up Wanheng’s inability to fight in the States and the prohibitive cost of staging an event in Thailand, both brought about by the coronavirus.
- The leader of Phetmorakot Petchyindee Academy, where Wanheng trains, states that Wanheng made the post out of “stress,” citing the same issues that his trainer did. He still intends for Wanheng to make his return to the ring in September.
So, there you (possibly) have it. We might not have seen the last of TBE after all.