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Old 11-17-2012, 10:26 AM   #709
yaca you
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Default Re: ESB ATGs Muay Thai / KickBoxing fighters Thread

Originally Posted by boranbkk View Post
Thatís one of the politest posts Iíve ever seen! Iíll try to reciprocate. Iíve written a lot about these topics already in this thread, but Iíll try to sum it up.

What you have to understand first is that these guys arenít fighters in the sense we are familiar with in the west, where recreational interest accounts for most guys first walking into a fight gym. In Thailand most are ďpushedĒ into it very young , maybe 8 (although Iíve seen much younger) by family who need a bit of extra income or who canít a afford to raise their kids alone. The sport solely exists for the gamblers and these guys are viewed purely as commodities and are ďownedĒ by their gymís owners and handlers. They are usually purchased at a young age from small provincial gyms, brought to their new gym usually in Bangkok where they will live eat and breathe only Muay Thai until they leave in many cases maybe over a decade after they arrived. The manner in which they leave the gym largely depends on how they fight. Many leave injured, many get released after losing streaks having become a financial liability, but most get released after having repeatedly gone to war month in month out for years until finally they just have nothing left to give and are thrown on the scrap heap.

The majority of fighters are done by time theyíre 22-25, having had anywhere from 100 to 300 pro fights. Many guys end up with nothing (remember there is a 50-50 split with the gym), maybe a little noodle stand on the street or a second rate karaoke bar on some back soi somewhere and theyíre the semi lucky ones. Most however, become taxi drivers, go home and become farmers or gunmen in illegal casinos where a lot can wind up dead. Options are limited for a normal Thais let alone a man thatís been bred only to kick ass since he was 8! One gym I trained at did try to help by taking a % of the fighters purse and putting it in a savings account for the fighter, but I dread to think how that turned out when the gym struck hard times. The luckier ones manage to get out of the country and train abroad, which isnít easy or secure financially, not to mention Thais arenít great long term travellers they tend to miss home too much. The very select few of maybe only 4 fighters Somluck, Samart, Khoasai and now possibly Buakaw get regular TV work.

The exception to the above trend are the guys like Buakaw, Jomhod, Khem, Singmanee etc who have managed to get a bit more longevity out of their careers as they wind up about 70 kilos which is just right for the international MT and K-1 scene which pays well and is a much easier day at the office compared to their heydays back in Thailand in lower weight divisions when they were younger. By time these guys are fighting abroad in the west they are past their primes, but still manage to dominate.

In terms of losses on the record well, they do matter but only really from a financial point, there is little room for sentimental favourites in the cattle market of the Thai fight scene. Most fighters tend to fight for the same promoters so if they lose their payday goes down the next time and if they keep losing they probably get bumped down to a lesser stadium and so on until the gym then dumps them. Thais want to see 5 rounds of ďbeautifulĒ boxing or to translate 5 rounds of backward and forward frenetic action that allows gamblers & bookies to make lot of money, so being a KO artist can also hurt your chances of advancement up the ladder, remember itís all about the gambling and who wants to bet against a KO specialist, whereís the thrill in that! If you box bravely and make it close people like that, but on the whole you gotta win, thereís just way too much competition out there for people to remember you unless youíre great! And if your great youíll probably wind up fighting the same other greats of the time repeatedly, itís not uncommon for guys to sometimes meet upwards of 6 times!

Thereís loads more on this topic spread out in this thread, but hereís alink where we talk about it more in depth:
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