One of Malaysia’s major convention centres, Sunway Pyramid, was packed to bursting point with excited spectators and dignitaries ready for a spectacular event. Elite Boxing, which brought the concept “Thailand vs Challenger” to the world, put on a world class event under the sanctioning of the Malaysian Muaythai Association and the World Muaythai Council.
The audience was filled with Malaysian celebrities, and also featured a Malaysian fashion parade on the runway. The sold-out seats inside the arena were filled not only by members of the Malaysian fight community, but also local celebrities and dignitaries, including members of the Malaysian royal family. Other dignitaries in attendance included YB Dato’ Sri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Minister of Youth and Sports of Malaysia, Dato’ Shahnaz Azmi, President of the Malaysian Muaythai Association, Mr Zulkefli Hj Sharif, CEO of MyCEB, Tourism Malaysia, and representing the World Muaythai Council, Vice President Mr Stephan Fox.
As one and all were treated to an evening of world-class Muaythai, it was clear that the sport of Muaythai was the real winner.
The first official bout was Changpuek Elite Fight Club against up and coming Liu Xian Ming of China. It was an exciting match. The Chinese fighter again showed that Chinese Muaythai has moved to world level, especially in the boxing department. Both boys went toe to toe from the opening bell, when suddenly in round three, Changpuek, out of nowhere, caught the Chinese off guard, winning by TKO.
Next up was one of Malaysia’s best, Ali Yaakob, who is the team captain of the Malaysian National Team, Asian Champion and Arafura Games champion vs. Petchumpol of Thailand. This fight had the crowd on its feet as Ali displayed his outstanding Muaythai skills. Showing why he is amongst the best in the world, he won a unanimous points decision, earning himself a standing ovation from the proud Malaysian crowd.
The next fight was long anticipated, featuring two superstars: The winner of Challenger Muaythai and King’s Cup winner, Madsua Lamai Gym vs. the Persian Mos, semi-finalist of Challenger Muaythai, Asian Indoor Game Champion, and one of the biggest ambassadors for the sport. What a fight it was!
In the first two rounds, Mosi showed his world class skill with devastating hand and leg combinations, putting Madsua on the back foot. From round three, Madsua changed his game plan and rallied in a clinch, dropping Mosi for an 8 count. Round four also belonged to the Challenger Muaythai champion, and in round five both fighters showed why Muaythai is one of the most talked about, explosive and entertaining martial arts in the world. It was the Challenger champ Madsua who won by points, but the respect these two fighters have for one another is outstanding and displays the foundation of Muaythai.
The main fight was between Malaysia’s “Golden Elbow” and another Challenger Muaythai contestant, Faizal Ramli against one of Thailand’s best, Armin.
It was a fight which will stay in the memories of the audience and Faizal alike. In the first two rounds, Faizal tried to damage Armin with leg kicks and elbows in the clinch. But in round three out of nowhere Armin, with the precision of a surgeon, executed a head kick, dropping Faizal for a seven count. But Faizal showed why he is one of the toughest in the business. With the help of the entire stadium, he got back on his feet, fighting on with true Malaysian warrior spirit. Armin won a point decision and made Thailand proud, and both fighters received a standing ovation.
In support of IFMA’s and the WMC’s “Sport Is Your Gang” campaign, two ambassadors of the campaign had the honour of fighting, Jom Kitti of Thailand and Leo Monteiro of Brazil. Jom Kitti won on points.
Speaking after the event, EB founder Toli Makris made a rousing speech thanking the Malaysian Muaythai Association and its President Dato’ Shahnaz Azmi, and everyone else for their support for this fantastic event. He promised that there would be more events coming to Malaysia soon, especially in the build-up for the 2014 Muaythai World Championships, for which Malaysia won the bid.
WMC Vice President Stephan Fox made a special presentation to His Excellency YB Dato’ Sri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, in thanks for all the support of the Malaysian Government towards Muaythai, and especially as Challenger Muaythai has just been nominated for the 2012 International Emmy Awards. Mr Fox also congratulated Dato’ Shahnaz Azmi for his vision and all of Malaysia for their winning bid for the 2014 World Championships.
Highlights of the Thailand VS Asia event can be seen at: eliteboxing.tv