IT was indeed a throwback, Manny Pacquiao style.
The fighter who Pacquiao whipped to win his first-ever world title 17 years ago recently gave his Filipino tormentor a visit as he trained at the Wild Card gym in Los Angeles in preparation for his May 2 mega-fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Chatchai Sasakul of Thailand dropped by the famous sweatshop in Hollywood to personally see the boxing superstar in training camp, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.
Sasakul, of course, was the same Thai boxer who Pacquiao knocked out in the eighth round in December of 1998 to claim the World Boxing Council (WBC) flyweight title – the first of the Filipino’s record eight world division crowns.
Now 45 and a boxing trainer, Sasakul still remembers how Pacquiao did during the 12-round bout held at Phutthamonthon, Thailand just like it was yesterday.
“He fought so fast,” Sasakul said in an interview with the LA Times’ Lance Pugmire. The power…more.”
The title win proved to be the start of something big for the Pacman.
Since the historic victory, Pacquiao went on to become a boxing superstar and one of the best fighters of his era. He was named Fighter of the Decade (2000-2010).
The 36-year-old southpaw is set for the biggest fight of his career as he faces the unbeaten Mayweather just six weeks from now in a bout many projected will go down as the biggest and richest in the history of boxing.
Sasakul disclosed he already visited Pacquiao last year in the same gym owned by trainer Freddie Roach, with the Filipino fighter telling him to pay him a visit whenever he is in Los Angeles.
Following his loss to Pacquiao, Sasakul continued to fight and made headlines anew almost a decade after when Filipino foe Lito Sisnorio died from injuries he sustained during their eight-round match held in Thailand which the Thai won via a fourth-round knockout.
He went on and vied for the World Boxing Association (WBA) and WBC super-flyweight titles in 2008, but lost by a third round technical knockout to defending champion Christian Mijares of Mexico.
Sasakul fought last one time later that year, a fifth round KO win over compatriot Kondej Sithtrajtrakan before retiring from boxing for good.
He had a career record of 65-4, with 40 KOs.