Retiring ‘Dwarf Giant’ Has Knocked Floyd Mayweather Out Of Boxing's Record Books
Wanheng Menayothin never came close to Floyd Mayweather's level of fame, but the 5ft 2in Thai world champion overtook 'Money' by boxing to 54-0, then retired this weekend with his flawless record intact.
For decades, Rocky Marciano's perfect 49-0 was boxing's most iconic stat. That's until Mayweather finally surpassed it, reaching 50-0 by stopping Conor McGregor in 2017.
But he's now been overtaken by long-reigning WBC minimumweight (105lb) champ Menayothin, whose unbeaten run reached 54-0, before he announced he was leaving the sport in a surprise statement.
Unfortunately, the global pandemic has won where no rival boxer could. The 34-year-old was due to make his US debut in April, but that was postponed and now Menayothin has decided it's an ideal time to finish his career.
Nicknamed 'Dwarf Giant' for his aggressive style, the boxer with the birth name Chayaphon Moonsri is a former Muay Thai fighter. He also boxed under the alias 'Five-Star Grilled Chicken' due to a sponsorship deal with a Thai food company.
That's a world away from Mayweather, whose nicknames include 'Pretty Boy' and 'Money' - but we're pretty sure he was never introduced to the ring as the 'McChicken Sandwich Champ'.
Fighting under sponsor names isn't unusual in Thailand. One of Menayothin's old minimumweight rivals is WBA champ, Knockout CP Freshmart.
While Mayweather, a US Olympian, fought his entire 50-fight pro career under the spotlight, Menayothin has never boxed outside Thailand. He signed a deal with Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions in 2019, but the events of 2020 mean we'll never see him fight on US soil.
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Menayothin admitted before his 50th fight that he was motivated to "equal Floyd" - but he did not lose his drive in the fights that came after. His 54 wins include 12 title defences and 18 knockouts, actually a decent total in the sport's lightest weight class.
Of course, his competition level does not compare to Mayweather, who counts De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao and Canelo Alvarez among his conquests. But Menayothin was ranked top of his division by Ring magazine and ESPN at the time of his retirement.
"I have decided that it's good to stop boxing," he said in a statement. "No one knows my body as much as I do. Everyone needs money, but I would like to heal my body. Congratulations to everyone who supports me. Thank you for all the strength that you have always given me."
At 34, he's getting out at an ideal time, though it's a shame we never saw a showdown against Knockout CP Freshmart - also unbeaten at 21-0.
A '75-0' fight between the pair - with Mayweather ringside in a Knockout CP Freshmart T-shirt and baseball cap, screaming for his rival's demise - was a fight boxing purists had almost certainly dreamed of.
But if Menayothin sticks to his word and never enters the ring again, he'll own with the longest flawless record ever put together by a pro boxer - leaving Floyd with only one option: come back for five more McGregor rematches to regain his crown.
Imagery: PA Images/WBC
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