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Showdown for Queen’s Cup

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PHUKET: This Sunday Phuket will host a major Muay Thai tournament in Patong, in honor of HM Queen Sikirit’s 81st birthday.

The tournament was announced by the President of the Amateur Muay Thai Association of Thailand (AMTAT) former Thai Army chief Gen Chetta Thanajaro last Saturday during a press conference at the Tiger Hotel in Patong.

The competition on Sunday will held in honor HM Queen Sikirit and is also aimed at disseminating the art of Thai boxing, which is a symbol of Thailand worldwide, and also to provide a chance for foreigners who are learning Thai boxing to be able to compete on stage.

Seven of the ten fights on the night will be between female fighters defending and challenging for a range of championship titles including the prestigious World Muay Thai Council (WMC) title currently held by Swedish fighter Teresa Wintermyr in the 118-pound weight class.

The best female fighter on the night will also be presented with the Queen’s Cup, donated by HM Queen Sikirit.

The press conference was also attended by other big names in international Muay Thai, including Secretary General of the World Muay Thai Council Dr Sakchye Tapsuwan and Deputy Mayor of Patong Chairat Sukabal.

“Patong municipality is ready to support all kinds of sport. Patong is like the living room of the country, so it’s our honor to set up this World Thai Boxing competition. In the future, tourism should come along with sport.” said Mr Sukabal.

“Now Thai boxing is popular around the world. Many foreigners come to train in it here. We can see that one source of our income is from these people. There are a lot of Thai boxing training centers, more [opening up] every year, and their standards continue to improve, making more tourists interested in Thai boxing,” he added

The tournament will be held at Bangla Boxing Stadium on Phang Muang Sai Gor Rd starting at 8pm, with tickets costing 2,500 baht for VIP seats, 2,000 for ringside seats and 1,700 for standard seats. Local champions talk Muay Thai

Local champions talk Muay Thai

The Phuket Gazette’s Mark Knowles caught up with two local female fighters who will be competing for the Queen’s Cup this Sunday; Amy Sharp from Sumalee Gym and Teresa Wintermyr from Sinbi Gym.

Can you tell us a little bit about the tournament?

Amy: It’s an event for Her Majesty the Queen’s birthday and its sanctioned by the WMC the World Muay Thai council. I competed when they held the first event here in Phuket last year. It had a number of title fights especially for female fighters, so basically it’s title defenses and more. There will be a lot of fighters with great titles competing but the WMC is one of the best titles I would say.

How long have you been involved in Muay Thai?

Amy: I’ve been doing it for four years, I started Muay Thai for weight loss reasons, because I was about 120 kilo’s before, I’d never done it before in England. I just started it when I came here, to work as a teacher at Phuket International Academy.

Teresa: I’ve been doing it for almost six years, I started here as well, I read in a magazine about a girl that came here to train in a Muay Thai camp in Thailand and I thought that sounded really interesting. I came here that first time and had my first fight and then [left Phuket before I] came back again, and now have been living here for five years.

Do you hold any Titles in professional Muay Thai?

Teresa: I hold the World Muay Thai Council world title for 118 pounds. I won that in December last year and I’ll be defending it on Sunday.

Amy: I’m challenging for a different title on Sunday, but I have a current title from the King’s Birthday [bout] when I fought in Bangkok and that one is from the World Professional Muay Thai Federation. So it will be a rematch with the same fighter but for a different championship.

Do you think training and competing in Muay Thai is becoming more popular with women?

Teresa: Definitely. It wasn’t very common when I started five or six years ago, but in the last two years it has really become more popular.

Amy: I thinks it’s people coming to watch it, and worldwide it’s becoming more and more popular and huge gyms are springing up everywhere.

There are more fight events [outside Thailand], so people are getting to know about it more, so more people are coming here to train. And obviously now there are events like the Queen’s Cup which are really good for female fighters.

Teresa: The level [of skill] is getting higher for girls, there is a lot of high-level girls now, before there was a lot of fighters, but they weren’t very good.

Why is Muay Thai your sport of choice?

Amy: For me it’s a good thing to stay focused and also to try and maintain a good weight and I just love being part of a team as well.

Teresa: I like the lifestyle, because you train twice a day and full time.So it keeps you healthy and you have to take care of yourself and you have something to do. It feels like more of a profession it’s not a hobby like it would be at home. I just like the lifestyle and it keeps me very healthy, mentally and physically.

 

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