Saeksan Or. Kwanmuang is something of an anomaly in Muay Thai. He has been one of the most exciting competitors in Thailand for years; a relentless pressure fighter (Muay Bouk) battling war after war in his almost 15 years at the highest level of Muay Thai. And yet, at 30, despite a style that should have seen him decline years ago, Saeksan keeps defying common wisdom and father time—giving Thailand’s finest all they can handle and even capturing the Rajadamnern lightweight title in November.
His opponent on Wednesday at Rajadamnern Stadium, Kaonar PKSaenchai, is something of a polar opposite, a slick and classy technician at distance and one of Thailand’s very best throw artists—whether it is from the clinch or as a catch-and-sweep-er. The two men are familiar foes, having fought a series of close and exciting fights last year ending in two wins for Kaonar and a draw. But, their fourth this week ended up being their finest and a Fight of the Year contender.
Kaonar built an early lead behind his jab and left middle kick, but Saeksan put on a hellish pace with constant pressure in the late rounds, to turn the fight into the kind of close quarter wars he is so fond of. Kaonar put on a valiant effort as they traded knees and elbows in the fourth, but Saeksan would ultimately prevail—getting his first win over Kaonar in four tries and defending his Rajadamnern title.
Saeksan will now turn to kickboxing and Japan, where he will compete in the semi final round of the Rise 61kg tournament in July, but with such a close and entertaining series I’d be surprised if a fifth fight with Kaonar didn’t materialise at some point in the future.
The main event was a perfect way to cap a very entertaining card that saw 18 year old Rajadamnern super-featherweight champion Rungkit Wor Sangprapai defeat veteran Phet-U-Thong by a nasty low kick KO in the third round. A solid win, as Rungkit also prepares to compete in japan in July—in the 57kg Rise tournament, where he is the putative favorite to meet Japanese superstar Tenshin Nasukawa in the finals.
Sharp performance by Rungkit today, one month before he returns to Japan for the semi-final round of the RISE World Series. pic.twitter.com/KgfdosAKxO— Yodsanan (@_Yodsanan) May 29, 2019
Elsewhere on the card, Lumpinee featherweight champion Chalam Paranchai scored a magnificent spear elbow KO over Detsakda Pukongyat. And veteran Wanchalong PKSaenchai scored his biggest win in recent years with a high kick KO over Puenkon Tor Surath.
Quite the show today. Chalam with the spear elbow knock out against Detsakda. pic.twitter.com/Qv5t2zW1ZX— Yodsanan (@_Yodsanan) May 30, 2019
Old man still got it. After being in a bit of a slump in the last 2 years, Wanchalong gets back on track with a huge knock out win over Puenkon Tor Suath. pic.twitter.com/yJJEPuRfez— Yodsanan (@_Yodsanan) May 29, 2019
OTHER NOTABLE RESULTS
Tuesday at Lumpinee Stadium:
Rafi Singpatong (blue corner, Lumpinee welterweight champion) beat Chamuaktong Fightermuaythai (red corner, Rajadamnern super lightweight champion) by 5th round low kick stoppage. Another solid win for France’s Rafi, further establishing himself as one the finest foreigners in Muay Thai.
Thursday at Rajadamnern Stadium:
Mongkolkaew Sor Sommai (red corner, #9 superfeatherweight at Rajadamnern, #9 at Lumpinee) beat Chankit Aor Pimonsi (blue corner) by decision. A masterclass in teeping from Chankit in the early rounds, a lot of clinch work to retake the advantage from Mongkolkaew in the 4th and 5th. I’m not sure that I agree that it was effective enough for the win, but c’est la vie.
Yamin P.K.Senchai (blue corner, #1 superfeatherweight at Rajadamnern, #3 at Lumpinee) knocked out Superball Teeded 99 (red corner, #4 lightweight at Rajadamnern) with a nice sneaky right high kick in the 2nd.
Friday at Lumpinee Stadium: