It was good to be back in Bangkok, albeit for a excruciatingly short period of time. I rang up Rob to see what was on for the night, and as my luck would have it, it was the Rajadomnern Birthday show.
Diimak, Rob and I grabbed a mouthful of grilled chicken goodness at Likit before the opening bell. One of the highlights of my evening was noticing all the fistic mojo spilling over to our table. Those of you who are down with Muay Thai will surely recognize one of the fighters in the pic.
The gentleman on the left is Manus Boonjumnong a 2004 Athens Olympics Boxing Gold medallist and 2008 China Silver medallist. Manus is a great boxer but lousy at managing his money. Manus is more widely known for squandering his $600K gold medal bonus on betting. His situation was so widely known that the Thai government changed how it awarded its gold medal bonuses to athletes. Instead of a lump sum, the government now only pays out over a period of 20 years!
The gentleman at the two the right is non-other then Somluck Khamsing. The first Thai gold medallist and Muay Thai savant. I told him I saw him fight in London, a while back… he replied “ I didn’t go to fight… I went on Holiday!” Which was pretty much true… I asked him about Van Damme. if it was still on and he said the venue has been changed to Moscow. I asked if was taking it seriously, and he replied “It’ll be nice to go on holiday in Moscow” He was in the middle of his betting frenzy so I wasn’t really going to bother him anymore. Judging by his answer, I seriously doubt there is going to be any training involved.
The figure on the right is Jaroenthong Kiatbanchong, who’s considered one of the greats of Muay Thai’s golden era. He holds multiple stadium titles across several weight divisions including junior bantamweight and featherweight. He currently runs his own camp, which I’ve been meaning to get to for sometime.
For me it was a lot of new faces on the card, I was looking forward to watching Tawanrung Uasampan, according to Rob he’s like a young Anuwat, who’s recently been on a KO spree. Lots of great fights… if you’re interested in the full report, you can check out MuayThai2000.com