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All a-bout love

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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RAYONG: Many Thais are fond of a wager and high stakes betting on muay Thai bouts is certainly nothing unusual. The organizers of a charity Thai boxing night in Rayong, however, claimed to have a world first when two Assistant Village Chiefs went head to head in the ring to fight – not for a large sum of cash, but for the heart of a local divorcée. On April 6 more than 1,000 fans packed a temporary boxing stadium in Rayong’s Tambon Klairng to see the 11 fights on the card for the night. However, it was the last fight of the night, an amateur match, that the crowd was waiting for. Shortly after midnight, Somyot “Child of Village 4” Hiranmas, 39, entered the ring in the red corner and his opponent Somchai “Child of Village 3” Wechsamreut, also 39, took the stage in blue. Both fighters had supporters numbering in the hundreds from their respective villages cheering them on. The two men, fighting in the 64-kilogram category, launched into each other with gusto, though rather clumsily. After a couple of rounds, the pugilists began to tire and resorted to taking little mid-round breaks. The fight went the full four rounds, neither man able to pull off a knock out. A tense few minutes after the final bell had rung, the referee pulled up the hand of Somyot proclaiming him the winner on points. When the two fighters stepped down from the ring, local journalists rushed to question them over how they had ended up in the ring together. Both men, however, were struck by acute attacks of shyness. They avoided the questions until a woman marched up to the two, lifted Somyot’s hand into the air, and proclaimed that she was the victor’s prize. The woman, Phraoe Nitayalap, 52, said that she had separated from her husband four years ago and had recently gotten to know Somyot and Somchai, both of whom were intent on wooing her. She liked both men, and couldn’t choose between them. The two men would stop at her house in Village 5 after doing their inspections that were part of their responsibilities as Assistant Village Chiefs of Village 3 and Village 4, she explained. In the end, she decided to agree to settle it with a boxing match, though she admitted that her feelings for the two men were not quite equal – she had been secretly cheering Somyot in her heart. Somyot said that he and Somchai were on good terms and had frequently worked together, but their relationship had been strained by them falling for the same woman, 13 years their senior. Not wanting the problem to drag on, Somyot decided to challenge Somchai to settle the issue in the ring at the charity event. Somyot said that he had never fought muay Thai before and had trained for eight days before the fight. Somchai claimed that he had been at a disadvantage in the fight as he had had little time to train and, although it was billed at a 64kg bout, his opponent weighed in at 69kg. He did concede that Somyot had been the better fighter on the night and deserved to given the points decision. He said that he would stand by the result and let Somyot take the girl. He was happy to have made merit by drawing people to the event, held to finance the building of a new shrine, he added. There is no possibility of a rematch, he concluded.

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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