Damien Almos “The White Lion”, class act, pure quality & any foreigner fighter that joins that tiny elite list of fighters who have won a Lumpinee or Raja belt has to be considered in contention for foreign ATD status, although it is early days. (To the uninitiated the Lumpinee belt is the “real” world championship belt, way more prestigious and tougher to get than so called world championship belts. Probably on of the hardest titles to win in all of combat sports.
Full respect to him & it's great to see a farang with a stadium belt. I love his style, pure Thai, great rhythm and balance. One of the interesting things about Almos as Wisdom already mentioned is his age, he’s only 22 had 61 bouts and has a Lumpinee belt already, based in Thailand now since around 2009(?) I think there’s a lot of great to come fights if he can stay at the weight or unless he switches to MMA like the Pinto bros have unfortunately done. (Wisdom you should check out the Pinto Bros, two French brothers raised in Thailand from the age of 6 when they started to train out there, they fight like Thais).
Now, I’m gonna play devil’s advocate abit.
When judging the quality of farang fighters who win belts in Thailand you have to look at the weight division they’ve won the belt in. The 140lbs division is a weak division at the moment and is getting away from the more competitive end of Muay Thai in Thailand, but still a very valid division. Kongfah who Almos beats in that clip looks to be giving a lot of weight to the Frenchman and seems to be out of shape and dare I say it over the hill I believe he’d held the championship since 2008 which shows you the lack of competition at 140 in Thailand.
140 and above tends to house a lot of fighters who have had their heydays years before and are abit older and can’t squeeze into the lower weights anymore, but are too small to fight for the big money abroad. If a foreigner wins say a Lumpinee or Raja belt 130 or below, your jaw absolutely hits the floor…….
Don’t get me wrong 140lbs is still a valid division, but lacking the competitiveness and depth of all the other lower weigh classes and anything above that well except for maybe 147 it’s very hard to find top class Thais in their primes and if they do exists a lot go on to fight abroad for the bigger money, think Kem, Buakaw, Singmanee etc. and soon to be Aikpreecha no doubt.
A lot of sub 140 foreigner boxers who may very well be great great fighters get lost in the lower weight divisions due to the sheer weight of numbers of home grown fighters and super competitiveness nature of the Thai fight scene, it’s very hard for them to break out, unlike their slightly bigger contemporaries. There is also very little money internationally in the lower weights unlike to 70 kilo glamour division fighters who fight so regularly all over the world for sometimes very good money. However, that being said Farang boxers if they have skills (or not sometimes) do get to jump the que and that seems more possibly now than it ever was before. Although that can be a double edged sword, you can get thrown in too deep too quick sometimes!
Who’s the greatest Farang ATG? Well in Thailand most Thais agree with Yaca and say Danny Bill.
By the way, Almos just got beat on the 12th of this month at Lumpinee in a non titlefight against Diesel Lek Udon Muang who Almos beat a year ago. Almos got beat pretty convincingly by a very experienced and dare I say it slightly out of shape Diesel Lek.......