A friend and former trainer of mine is Anucha “Noom” Chaiyasen AKA Jongsanan. Jongsanan is one of the toughest bastards you’ll ever meet. Noom started fighting when he was about 10. A former Lumpini and Rajdamnern stadium champ, Jongsanan was a stable mate of Bunkerd’s and Nuengsiam’s at Fairtex. You’ll often see Noom listed as Jongsanan Fairtex, In Thailand it’s customary that you take on your camp name.
Chef Noom (he make’s a damn good Som Tom)
Let me give you a quick synopsis of Muay Thai in Thailand. Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand. That being said it isn’t as popular as MLB is in the US. If you go to a fight at Lumpinee you swear that you’ve been taken back in time. There are no ring girls, and no big production. What you get is a fight, plain and simple. It’s like stepping into a real version of the Thunderdome. The place gets hot, no AC here. The ring is has a brownish hue, from the dried blood and sweat. This place is raw, and it’s packed with mostly hardcore gamblers. So this isn’t a place where you’re going to catch the average Thai. When I was a kid my dad would never take me, he was worried I was going to be a victim of a “look lohng” which means stray bullet. It can happen when you’re rolling out without making good on your bets.
Photo by: Hartfried Schmid
So Back to Noom, he was a bit of a phenom. Somehow his fame was able to rise out of Lumpini and into a lot of Thai households. My uncles who prefer to watch boxing even know of Noom’s reputation as a fighter.
Here is a clip of Noom fighting. This is a pretty famous fight called the “elbow fight”. It was nominated for Muay Thai fight of the decade. You’ll see what I mean by tough. Tough is a bit of understatement, brutal is more like it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fight quite like this. In fact if anyone reading this knows of one, please leave a link to it in the comments section. Noom is in the red trunks and is initially catching a beating from another champion Sakmongkol.
I asked Noom about their rivalry, he said that he and Sakmongkol had fought a total of 8 times. Noom won 5 of those times… this clip was the 5th time they had met in the ring. In this fight Noom goes on to lose by a split decision. He said decisions were quite rare for them, as they always managed to knock each other out. He said they became really good friends after about the 3rd fight. Noom admits it was their friendship that fueled their intense rivalry. This can be clearly seen as this bout is more about trading then tactics.
Below in the comments is a link compliments of Junaid to more Sakmongkol fights. Here is the link to download the entire fight, the image quality is quite good. You won’t be disappointed.
I’m fairly certain that Noom has decided to hang up his gloves. I consider myself fortunate for having seen him fight. I asked him when his son Daschel would start training. I got an emphatic never! He insists that Daschel will only play either tennis or golf. Roughly translated ” I fought so that he would never have to fight.” Nice one.