Philippines: Thailand wins five boxing gold; crowd trouble spoils finals night

Athens silver medalist Worapoj Petchkoom and former world champion Somjit Jongjohor won gold Saturday, leading Thailand to five gold medals out of nine at the Southeast Asian Games boxing finals marred by crowd trouble.

Host Philippines won four gold medals, but lost out in the final fight when a jeering home crowd pelted the ring with bottles, coins and food in protest while Filipino middleweight Reynaldo Galido was down on points against Thailand's Olympic bronze medalist Suriya Prasathinpimai.

The referee was forced to halt the fight after the first round with Suriya leading 11-4 and declare the Thai the winner. Two years ago in Hanoi, a similar row erupted when Thailand won five out of five finals against the Philippines.

Fans were earlier upset over Worapoj's win over Bacolod-born Joegen Ladon, who sent the Olympic medalist to the canvas in the third round with a right hook but still lost 35-22. A small row even erupted between Thai and Filipino journalists, upset with calls that went against their boxers. Worapoj had gained three kilograms to move up to the featherweight class, but lost two kilograms shortly before the final at a packed University of St. La Salle gymnasium.

In the flyweight, Somjit said he couldn't hold down any food leading up to his bout with Vietnam's Tran Quoc Viet. But he danced around the ring and raised his left glove repeatedly to taunt Tran in his 16-7 points victory. Thailand's other golds came from Non Boonjumnong in the welterweight and light welterweight Pechai Sayota _ both repeating their Hanoi achievements.

In earlier finals, Filipinos Juanito Magliquian and Harry Tanamor got the hosts off to a winning start, earning gold in the opening two men's bouts, the AP reported. Pinweight Magliquian, fighting at his sixth SEA Games, rocked Myanmar's Zaw Myo Win twice and led 22-3 when the referee stopped the contest in the second round. A.M.

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