Thailand off to a flying start in muaythai Challenger Series

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Muaythai fans were treated to an evening of world class entertainment on the evening of July 23 as the Thailand vs Challenger (2011) Series held its grand opening at Bangkok’s River City Hall. 

Organised by Bangkok-based Elite Boxing in co-operation with One Songchai Promotions, the event is the second Challenger Series following on from the success of last year’s inaugural event which saw top class muaythai fight-cards staged at luxury venues both in Thailand and around the world.

Set in the plush surroundings of the exclusive River City Hall, last month’s event attracted an elite crowd of local and international VIPs including World Muaythai Council (WMC) Honorary Life President General Pichit Kullavanijaya, Sonia Couling, Mathew Dean, Sarunrat Visutthithada or Lydia, and Miss Thailand Universe pageant in 2006 Charm Onwarin Osathanond.

Saiyok Pumpanmuang from Thailand (left) takes on Australia’s Bruce Macfie during the Grand Opening of the second Thailand vs Challenger (2011) Series held at River City Hall, Bangkok on Saturday, July 23. Saiyok Pumpanmuang from Thailand (left) takes on Australia’s Bruce Macfie during the Grand Opening of the second Thailand vs Challenger (2011) Series held at River City Hall, Bangkok on Saturday, July 23.

The opening fight saw local talent Armin Blackdragonswis looking very sharp as he defeated Chinese challenger, Hong Guang, by way of a comfortable decision win.  Contender Asia veteran, Aussie Bruce Macfie, encountered a torrent of blows from Thai competitor, Saiyok Windysport (Pumpanmuang), and did well to go the distance, even though Saiyok’s victory was never really in doubt.

The Thai team were also victorious in two other matches; Kaoklai Kaenorsing knocked out American, Cyrus Washington, in a match that exhibited some unusual technique and a very balanced exchange.  Eventually, Kaoklai drew blood from a vicious elbow and the match had to be stopped.

Seulokkao Kor Kraivilas scored a technical victory over German, Valdet Gashi.  However, the decision was met with a chorus of boos from the sell-out crowd who clearly believed that Valdet had done enough to deserve the win.  Elite Boxing co-founder Toli Makris even took the unusual step of apologising for the decision and announced that Valdet would certainly be fighting in TVC events again in the future.  “I am sorry to all the fans about the decision against Valdet,” commented Makris.  “But I can guarantee that he will have his chance again.”

The only Challenger victory came by way of Frenchman, Antuan Siangboxing, who won on points against local competitor, Saenchainoi Pumphanmuang.  Having narrowly lost on points in previous TVC events, it was a sweet victory for the battling Frenchman.

Proceeds from this first TVC event of 2011 will go to support charities, including the “Muaythai Against Drugs Foundation,” headed by World Muaythai Council (WMC) Honorary Life President, General Pichit Kullavanijaya.

The much-anticipated second series of Thailand vs Challenger consists of 6 international events taking place in both Europe and Asia.  The next date to look forward to is the Queen’s Cup on August 12, which is happening at Sanam Luang, Bangkok.

Thailand vs Europe will see the Challenger Series head to Germany next for a glittering event in Stuttgart, before returning to Thailand in December for the highly-anticipated Thailand vs Asia.  For more details of the TVC (2011) Series, visit the Elite Boxing website: www.elite-boxing.com. (Press Release)