Hurts Like Hell dives deep into the Thai boxing world by alternating between interviews with many real-life insiders who share their experiences, and dramatizations with fictional characters. One of the many important persons appearing in the series is Khaosai Galaxy, a legendary Thai boxer.
Khaosai Galaxy brought pride to the Thai boxing industry by becoming the 9th world champion from Thailand. He was Thailand’s 4th World Boxing Association (WBA) champion in the super flyweight class (from 112 pounds up to 115 pounds). His reign lasted from 21 November 1984 to 11 December 1991, during which time, he defended his title in 19 consecutive matches, setting a record of 16 knockouts and 3 points-decision victories. He retired as “The Champion who Never Lost” after remaining undefeated for 2,628 days, or 7 years, 2 months, and 30 days.
Born Sura Saenkham in Phetchabun on 15 May 1959, Galaxy is now 63 years old. He has an elder twin brother named Suroj Saenkham who is also a boxer with the ring name “Khaokor Galaxy”. The twins started their boxing careers at the age of 14 under the mentorship of Prakarn Worasiri. Khaosai turned professional in 1972 under the ring name of Daoden Muangsithep. He traveled around Phetchabun and nearby provinces competing in boxing matches until he defeated a champion of Rajadamnern Muay Thai Stadium. That surprise victory made his gym owner decide to introduce him to Niwat “Shae Mae” Laosuwanwat, a famous boxing promoter who later brought the Galaxy twins to Bangkok and entered them in big fights. Shae Mae encouraged Khaosai to switch from Muay Thai to professional western boxing in the bantamweight class (above 115 pounds and up to 118 pounds). He received negative feedback for using his physical strength rather than his “brain” or more technical boxing techniques.
Khaosai later gained recognition following a run of 5 knockouts, mostly a result of his powerful left punch, and one victory by a points decision. Finally, he earned his chance to fight at the Rajadamnern Muay Thai Stadium in the bantamweight class against Sakda Saksuree. Disadvantaged by his height, he lost by a points decision. This defeat remains the first and only loss throughout his professional boxing career.
After winning a bantamweight championship, Khaosai dropped his weight to fight in the WBA super flyweight class where he went on a 17-fight winning streak – a record that was unheard of at that time. Later, he boxed against the undefeated Eusebio Espinal from the Dominican Republic for the WBA championship title. This historic fight is still remembered by many Thais as the streets were empty since everyone had rushed home to see the fight. After grabbing another knockout win in the 6th round, Khaosai was crowned as a new world champion with the nickname “Sai Thaluang-Si” (The Left Hand That Drills Intestines), a nickname that he still has to this day.
Today, Khaosai is officially retired from his boxing career, but his legacy lives on as one of Thailand’s greatest-ever boxers.
- 1999: included in the modern International Boxing Hall of Fame (Modern) in Canastota, New York, USA
- 2002: the Ring Magazine placed Khaosai at No.43 in their World Best Boxers of the Past 80 Years list
- 2003: the Ring Magazine placed him at No.19 in their “100 Greatest Punchers of All Time”
- 2011: the WBA recognized him as the world’s best super flyweight boxer of all time and placed him in the WBA Hall of Fame at the WBA Awards ceremony on 8 February 2012 in Panama City, Panama