Originally Posted by Wisdom
What would you say is the western fighters biggest weakness against Thai's is it the clinch in particular or is it just every overall skillset except punching
Yeah, clinching is the obvious one, although I’ve got to admit in general westerners have massively improved over the last decade in that department. Fluidity of kicks and knees as well as the classic MT patience & rhythm are other weak areas. However, on the whole the standard is getting better and better outside Thailand.
Conditioning, natural fluidity of technique and ring experience will never ever be caught up by the west; they are and always will be leagues ahead. The truth is, it’s not really about the technical side, it’s deeper than that. You have to remember it’s the national sport, 65,000 boxers, 1000s of gyms with guys bought and owned by the gym first hitting the pads at maybe 6 and then training twice a day, 6 days a week, year in year out with many having 80 fights by time they are 16. It is not only their livelihood that depends on how hard they fight and train but also their siblings and very often their parents. Hence the competition is intense as life choices depend utterly on how they do in the ring. Muay Thai is their chance to earn what is considered good money and a chance at a better life, without the hope of Muay Thai they are tied to the unbreakable chain of poverty. Sounds like a cliché I know, but it’s the truth. How can you beat that in west where most of us first venture into an MT gym out of a purely recreational interest not the need or desire to feed our families?
Sure there are some westerners that buck the tread and I’m very very happy there are, but they are the rare exception. Westerners are getting better and better and more and more are basing themselves in Thailand which is only good for the sport. I’m not saying westerners can’t be as good as the Thais of course they can but unless they are going to grow up in Thailand (which ain't ever gonna happen for most) it’ll be very hard for farang to routinely win stadium belts in the important weights.
As a side note to the 2nd paragraph, the truth is for Thais that have been great boxers with successful careers in Thailand you ain’t gonna wind up rich, corrupt promoters, 50-50 splits with you gym etc etc conspire to leave you broke by time you are eventually thrown on the MT scrap heap. Why do you think the great names keep fighting on…..they don’t do it for the fun of it, it’s a livelihood in country that makes it very hard to climb the social tree. Just look at Somrak’s recent come back…….