Somjit Jongjohor claimed a long-awaited Olympic gold medal while Manus Boonjumnong had to settle for silver as Thailand concluded their Beijing quest with a total of two gold and two silver.
In his swansong bout, the sentimental favourite Somjit, at 33, produced an unblemished fight to tame Cuban Andris Lafita Hernandez 82 in the flyweight.
An hour later fans had to watch defending champion Manus bombarded by Dominican Felix Diaz in the light welterweight final, which ended in a onesided 412 victory to the South American.
Somjit's dreamcometrue gold is the second for Thailand at Beijing after Prapawadee Jaroenrattanatarakoon won the women's 53kg weightlifting a fortnight ago. He is the seventh alltime Olympic gold medallist from this country. The others after Somluck Khamsing, Wijan Ponlit, Udomporn Polsak, Paweena Thongsuk, Manus and Prapawadee.
Somjit made the trip to Beijing as the most successful boxer without an Olympic medal.
"I lost in Athens and it's worth the wait for four years," said Somjit in tears. "I will hang up my gloves after this," he said.
Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej last night congratulated Somjit on winning his first Olympic gold medal.
Samak praised the boxer for being "really good", saying he watched the fight in his car while on his way to a function last night. "I don't have his contact number, so I can't reach him. Please tell Somjit that he has made people happy," said the PM.
Manus, on the contrary, lived a lavish life and spent all his money from the Athens Olympiad on girls and gambling.
But when the Amateur Boxing Association boss Thaweep Jantharoj handed him a second chance, he decided to turn over a new leaf.
His unorthodox boxing style, which relies on wits and experience rather than power, got him to the final.
The fierce Dominican unleashed a flurry of powerful punches at a worn out Manus. The reformed boxer might have ended up second best this time but he stamped his name in history as the first from this country to win backtoback Olympics medals. "I'm sorry for the fans. But one thing you all can be sure of is that I will never become a playboy again."
Upon their return on Monday, both Somjit and Manus will become richer thanks to incentives from the government and private sector. Thailand's Games are over. None of its athletes are in action today.
Apart from two golds from boxing and weightlifting, one silver from boxing, Buttree Puedpong won the other silver in the women's 49kg taekwando. Thailand was at 30th in the medal tally at press time.
At home, thousands of fans and news media swamped the homes of the two boxers. Somjit lives in Nakhon Ratchasima and Manus in Ratchaburi. They watched coverage and lent support. Somjit's wife Sasithorn and son Apipu were overwhelmed.
Apipu, nickname "Kum Pun", or punch, turned seven yesterday and asked for a gold medal for a present on the phone before the fight.