Farang heavies in Muay Thai tangle tonight
SAPHAN HIN: Two Europeans heavyweights will tangle in the main event of tonight’s Thai boxing fights at Saphan Hin Stadium, starting at 8 pm. The match, the first international Muay Thai event held on the island, is expected to be a cracker, pitting two 24-year-old boxers from rival gyms in Kata. Fighting out of the Phuket Muay Thai Gym will be John “The Norwegian Nightmare”, who will exchange blows with another 24-year-old European identified only as “Frank”, fighting out of the Abang Mart Gym. Both men are heavyweights, weighing in at 90-95 kilograms, which will make the event the first time a heavyweight Muay Thai bout has been staged in Phuket. The heaviest Thai boxers usually weigh in at about 65 kilograms. Steve Illyes, manager of the Phuket Muay Thai Gym, hopes the event will help promote Phuket as a center for “Muay Thai Tourism”. He noted that the island was far behind Koh Samui, Bangkok and Chiang Mai as a center for foreigners who come to Thailand to learn the sport, which has gained international attention as a pure yet practical martial art. The card will also feature 10 other Muay Thai bouts as part of the regular Friday night fight line-up. The Saphan Hin Stadium, run by Democrat Party MP Suwit Sa-Ngiamkul, is the only place on the island to feature real – not staged – Muay Thai in an authentic setting. Tickets are 500 baht, and the heavyweight event is expected to be the seventh on the card.
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