Onesongchai has been the biggest name in Muay Thai promotion for decades, and last night (25th June) at Rajadamnern Stadium another big night of fights delivered.
The main event needs your attention right away. One of the sports pound-for-pound best, 17 year old Sangmanee Sor Tienpo, in the red shorts, took on the reliable tough guy Hong Thanonchai Tor Sangtiennoi, in the blue shorts.
This was a truly incredible fight. Sangmanee, once considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, is a four weight stadium champion. He has won the 105lb Lumpinee championship, and the Rajadamnern title at 108, 112 and 115lbs. A true phenom, he is a technical fighter with very good hands who has aspirations of representing Thailand in amateur boxing at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
2014 looked to be a great year of continued success for Sangmanee. He won the one-night four man tournament put on by Petyindee promotions, in which he came out on top of three of the very best fighters in Muay Thai today (Superbank, Superlek and Sam-A) but since then he has gone on the very worst run of his career, being dropped by a big punch and losing to Sam-A, then losing decisions to Thaksinlek Kiatniwat in both May and June.
Yesterdays bout was a quick turnaround for Sangmanee, and Thanonchai, a very strong competitor who has faced many top fighters in the 126lb division, was likely to be a stern test but a way to get back on track for Muay Thai's teenage superstar.
In the first few rounds, that's how it went. Sangmanee brutalised Thanonchai with elbows and looked the far superior all-round fighter.
As the third and fourth round came around however, Thanonchai was still in there. With his face busted open and his eye grotesquely swelled, he kept coming forward, and a classic exchange of elbows at close range ensued!
Showing grit, determination and poise, Thanonchai came through the superior skillset of Sangmanee to show he was stronger down the stretch and took the decision.
Sangmanee is now on a four fight losing streak, and for a fighter this special this is fairly unprecedented. Whether it's his continuing studying for exams, the thoughts of the Olympics in the back of his head, or moving up in weight too fast, he just cannot seem to get over the hump, despite not showing any signs of slowing down or skillset erosion.
This is truly one of the best fights of the year so far, regardless of combat sport, and I highly recommend you give it a watch.
Other Results and Videos
A super bantamweight contest at 122lbs between Luknimit Singklongsee (red) and Sofar Sor Sangtiennoi (blue) went tit-for-tat in a gruelling scrap that ended in a draw.
At 112lbs, Chaimongkon Sujeebameekow in the blue shorts took on Lamnammoonlek Nuicofeeboran in the red shorts.
This is a highly entertaining bout, and if you only watch one sequence from it I'd fast forward to 2:40, where you'll see a dump followed by a Lyoto Machida-esque crane kick/jumping front kick, which scores a knockdown as well. This sequence, featuring two displays of superior balance and technique, gave Chaimongkon the victory, but Lamnammoonlek was swinging hard with his fists throughout and it made for a barn burner.
In a catchweight bout, 116lb Pichitchai PKSaenchaimuaythai (red shorts) took on 119lb Parkalek Tor Laksong (blue shorts)
These guys have fought before, and it's clear to see why they were matched up again. Both were attempting throws from the clinch, but it was Pitchitai's superior hands and elbows that did the most damage and won him the decision.
All in all, a very good show.
Other News from Thailand
The bout between the always exciting Pornsanae Sitmonchai and the veteran master of attrition Pokaew Fonjangchonburi, scheduled to take place at Lumpinee Stadium this Friday (June, 27th) has been cancelled, as Pokaew has pulled out with an injury.
If you are not familiar with Pornsanae, I suggest you make yourself acquainted with him. In short, he is an Arturo Gatti-esque figure in Muay Thai. He comes out to destroy his opponent and is always in very exciting fights.
A big fight has been announced for Lumpinee Stadium on Tuesday, July 8th. Petchboonchi F.A Group and Yodwicha Por Boonsit will meet for the sixth time, in their fourth fight just this year.
Both masters of the clinch, this bout will be contested at 137lbs, and with the series tied at two wins apiece and a draw, will give both fighters a chance to prove their superiority once and for all.
If you're still not sold on Muay Thai, or unsure at how to approach bringing it into your life as a sport you can follow, be sure to check out Part One and Part Two of the Bloody Elbow 'Beginners Guide to Muay Thai' (part three to follow very soon)
Opinions on these fights, fighters or any questions at all, please comment and I will be sure to respond and get involved in the discussion myself.