The Bpuun Suea (Tiger cement) tournament is the single most lucrative MuayThai competition here in the Kingdom of Thailand.
The showpiece yearly competition is into its 17th now - and this years fights get under way on Sunday the 19th of February - where the boxers from Group (B) get the honor to get things rolling.
The overall winner of the contest which spans a total of nine months receives cash rewards upwards of 800,000 Baht, a gold encrusted Tiger ornament, valued at 100,000 Baht - and a glitzy beautiful belt which costs 20,000 Baht to make.
The prestigious tournament features fighters between the ages of 15-20 years old - and it's main social aim is to get young males from the provinces here in Thailand to participate - in sports in order to combat the exponential rise is drug abuse amongst teenagers.
Due to the high number of injury pull-outs during last years competition, this year the organizing committee from Ch7 have changed the format to select twentysix fighters to participate in the 2017 tournament; which is now in its 17th year.
In a lucky draw which took place at the Royal Thai army club sixteen fighters were selected to participate in the actual tournament - whilst the 10 remaining fighters will be substitutes in case a fighter has to withdraw due to injury or other unforeseen circumstances.
The sixteen chosen boxers who were fortunate to get selected as the chosen ones were then divided into four different groups - aptly called groups A,B,C and D.
Here are the fighters from all four groups:
Denmeechai Sor Petchudon
Jocho Sor Seuapetch
Petkwanchai Jitmuangnon gym
The main rules and regulations for the Bpuun Suea tournament are as follows:
• To progress to the next round a fighter has to win 2 matches
• If a fighter wins his first group match he will have to fight the other winner that won their first match in the same group
• Two loses in a group means certain elimination from the tournament
• The eight remaining qualifiers will advance to the next stage - and again a draw will be made on live TV at the stadium for the two different groups which are then called group A and group B. The same rules applyfor qualifying for the next round - as is the same as the previous round (two wins qualify, two loses eliminate)
• The remaining 4 boxers will have another lucky draw live on TV to determine the line-up for the Semi finals - the winners here will advance to the final and the losers will fight in a 3rd/4th place battle
• The final takes place at Lumpinee stadium as the channel 7 stadium/studio is too small to accomadate the thousands of fans who flock to the capital to witness this spectacle
• The weight category for the first round is 120lbs, weight for the second stage is 122lbs and the weight for the Semi final and final is set at 124lbs
• The winner will get 500,000 baht in prize money and upwards of 300,000 baht in sponsor tips plus the aforementioned trophy and belt
• The second placed fighter will get 300,000 baht
• Third place will get 100,000 baht
• Fourth place gets 50,000 baht
Last years worthy winner was Saifon from PK Saenchai gym (Pictured above) who prevailed in thrilling fashion with constantly sublime performances thougthout the year.
With the exception of the final which takes place at Lumpinee stadium - all the tournament fights take place on Sundays at the famed channel 7 studio. The weekly fights commence at 2:15pm. Group (B). gets the privilege of getting proceedings underway for this years competition.
Here is a link containing all the information on the location of Ch7 stadium here in Bangkok: Ch7 Stadium Bangkok Location