PetUtong Or Kwanmaung: The sports writers fighter of the year for 2016
There are a plethora of annual awards for the elite MuayThai circuit in Bangkok, but none of them garner the same excitement than that of the Sports writers accolade which is the most prestigious individual honor for any MuayThai fighter in the Kingdom of Thailand, well outside of winning a stadium title of course.
The annual privileged winner is chosen by a group of fifteen journalists from a variety of MuayThai media organizations and this years winner is the super Yodmuay from Sor Sommai gym, PetUtong Or Kwanmaung. He won the vote by 11-4.
PetUtong takes the sponsored name, Or Kwanmaung, from the current governor of Bangkok, Mr. Aswin Kwanmaung, a retired Bangkok Police chief.
Over the past few weeks the speculation by casual observers and MuayThai fans on social media had been that Pernkun was the favorite to pick up this highly coveted award — but for this author the most important fact with the sports writers award is the fifteen individuals on the selection committee are at the stadiums and watching the fights day in, day out and they know the caliber of opponents that the boxers face each and every time they step in the ring.
Whilst Pernkun has a tremendous record since he returned to MuayThai after a year long hiatus, I had a sneaky feeling PetUtong would win the award from the sports writers.
The calendar for the sports writers award runs from April to March each year.
The six fights that PetUtong fought that were eligible in the decision making were his battles with the following fighters in 2016/2017:
Saen Parunchai gym — 29.04.2016
Bangplenoi 96 Peenung gym — 18.07.2016
Kaewkangwan Piwwayo — 29.09.2016
Superlek Kiatmoo9 gym — 22.12.2016
Kaimookao Por Thairungruangkamai — 02.02.2017
Panpayak Jitmuangnon gym — 02.03.2017
First up was his third round knock-out victory over former Lumpinee stadium champion, Saen, from Parunchai gym. This was the only fight of 2016 that PetUtong fought at Lumpinee stadium.
The next fight took place back in July against Bangplenoi at Rajadamnern stadium and PetUtong was the winner, putting in a magnificent display and taking the win via a unanimous points decision.
September saw PetUtong take on former Thailand and and Lumpinee champion, Kaewkangwan and this time PetUtong scored a punishing 4th round TKO victory.
PetUtongs final fight of 2016 saw him take on Superlek from Kiatmoo9 gym, a fight which took place on the Rajadamnern stadium annual birthday show in December. This fight was for the stadiums 130lb title. Again PetUtong was the winner and he dominated the Buriram superstar to be crowned the new champion — putting in a classy performance to take the decision on points.
February 2017 saw PetUtong take on the man who was the previous Raja champion at 130lbs, Kaimookao, from Petchyindee gym.
They went to Muaywar at Rajadamnern on Thursday the 2nd of February and PetUtong scored a truly sensational victory by way of a thunderous second round elbow KO!
The fight which most respected pundits believe eventually swayed the coveted accolade towards the hands of PetUtong was his stunning first round victory of the reputed pound for pound king, Panpayak, from Jitmuangnon gym.
This took place at Rajadamnern stadium on March 2nd. It was a sensationally jaw dropping (no pun intended) right hook from the south paw position that sent the three time winner of this award thrashing towards the canvas towards the end of the first round.
PetUtong is next in the ring on April 6th where he will give Panpayak an immediate rematch.