Muay Recap: The week that was on the Kingdom's elite circuit: 19-25 June
It was another fantastic week of MuayThai fight action here in Bangkok. The highlight of the week saw French fighter Rafi Bohic challenge Pongsiri PK Saenchai for Pongsiri’s Lumpinee stadium welterweight title. The Frenchman was given a two pound weight advantage for this bout, part of the reason for this was the fact that Pongsiri has years more experience fighting at higher calibre opponents and has also fought well over sixty fights more than his European Adversary. The Frenchman challenged Pongsiri last year for the title and on that occasion he came up short, losing a closely fought battle, via points. That was a brutal bout where both fighters left everything in the ring. This time around Rafi left nothing to chance as he chased the victory from on the onset of the opening bell, and over the five stanzas he left his mark on Pongsiri’s head, heart and soul — and for the second time in five years France had once again crowned one of their own as champion of the famous Lumpinee stadium. The previous most recent French Lumpinee champion was the now retired Damien Alamos.
It was back to Rajadamnern stadium on Wednesday and Thursday night. On Wednesday nights Petchyindee promoted show, a new light-flyweight champion of the stadium was crowned. Yoktong Pinsinchai was unanimous in defeating Praewprao from Petchyindee gym to claim to vacant strap.
Thursday night's action at the famous old stadium saw a magnificent show of some of Thailand’s finest young talent put their majestic Muay skills on display. The fans in attendance were not disappointed as the young guns showcased their incredible Muay prowess, within the squared circle. Those in attendance, from the MuayThai aficionados to the once off tourist visitors certainly certainly got a night to remember of pulsating fight action. As usual friday kicked off the weekend early, where now in the year 2017 MuayThai fans here in the Kingdom of Thailand are truly spoilt with the plethora of live MuayThai TV shows that are available with the click of a remote, or which is becoming more the case, the click of a mouse. Facebook live has allowed TV channels such as NOW26 and True4U to broadcast their fight shows live, via the social media platform — and their average viewership is upwards of thirty to forty thousand, per live broadcast. Weekly, from 6pm on a Friday until 8:30pm on a Sunday night there are over twelve fight promotions broadcast live on TV. The most famous of the live shows and arguably the mainstay of live MuayThai TV broadcasting is the weekly Sunday promotion, at Channel 7 stadium.
The match-making, the fanfare and the intimate atmosphere make for pulsating viewing, each and every week. This week was no exception with four tremendous bouts thrilling the fans in attendance, with both fights from the 2017 Tiger cement tournament resulting in knock-outs and the main event went the way of Nawapon Air Force Muaythai Gym who outgunned (No pun intended) Yuthagan Pet-Por-Tor-Or in closely fought battle, on the shows main event. Finally, Swedish fighter, Samuel Bark, who has been quietly making a name for himself, did a good job cementing that exponential progress with yet another big KO win, today. This time it was live on Channel 5 and he knocked out Thailand’s Samingdet Lukmichumpon with a clinical flurry of punches cumulating in him landing a perfect left hook to the jaw of the Thai fighter, swiftly sending him to the canvas, to the point of no return.