Originally Posted by Lilo
Have you heard of Ekapol Yothinpanawet? Was he fighting in Muay Thai/Kickboxing or anything?
I've never heard of him, but it's possible he has had different names in his career as most Thais have multiple names depending on sponsers, gyms etc. It is almost 99.9% certain he was a Muay Thai fighter before he was a boxer. Almost all Thai fighters start their fighting life at around the age of 8 in one of the thousands of Muay Thai gyms and proabaly have up to 60 pro fights before they are 16.
Western boxing gyms are very very rare and almost totally inaccesable to the average Thai unless it's through a military cadet program or they've been spotted and poached by one of the few pro boxing gyms. On occasion you'll get a convert that stays in his MT gym out of loyalty and cuts a lonley figure going through his western boxing routine next to his MT brothers.
Some fighters flip between both sports depending on success or finacial oppurunity. It looks like this may be the case with your man as he seems to have had a 10 year gap, which suggests he's been training guys in an MT gym or fighting MT, but no doubt at all he started his fight career as an MT fighter not a boxer.
The Atlanta olympics gold medal winner Somluck Khamsing just had a Muay Thai comeback in a big stadium fight just last month in his 40s.