With the formation of the Muay Thai premier league, shows starting to pop up in the U.S, and notable events happening almost every week in Europe, boxing in Thailand seems to have taken a backseat. Buakaw Por. Pramuk, Kem Sitsongpeenong, Sudsakorn Sor. Klinmee, Yodsanklai Fairtex etc... are the Thai fighters that get most of the attention because they frequently fight outside of the country. However they are nowhere near the best fighters in Thailand. I don't know if its because the best fighters are genetically smaller than "international level" fighters, or because people stereotype stadium boxing as a type of sameness, but for some reason or another Muay Thai in Thailand is viewed as something that is just... there, and nothing more for a lot of people. The best Thai boxers in the world are all 132 pound and under Thai's. I'm not bitter, just perplexed as to why the best fighters minus Saenchai aren't getting a fair shake, or even attention.
1. Saenchai Sinbimuaythai: It's impossible to not have Saenchai at #1. The guy has proven time and time again that he is the best stand up fighter on the planet. One week he'll go to another country at 140 pounds and dominate, 2 weeks later he'll get down to 127 and teach the hottest fighter in Thailand a boxing lesson. Vision, speed, balance, technique, he has it all. At 31 and 300 fights to his name you'd think the decline would have started by now, but if anything he's getting better and plans to fight for 4 or 5 more years. Next month he's scheduled to fight F16 Rajanont at the Lumpinee birthday show where he'll be giving up a full weight class to F16.
2. Sam-A Kaiyanghadaogym: In a recent interview from mymuaythai Ponsaneh Sitmonchai was asked who his hardest opponent has been, and without pausing he said Sam-A. Not surprising as Sam-A has beaten him 3/4 times with the reason for the loan loss being from a slip that was ruled a count. Sam-A is old for a Thai boxer at 28, but its not surprising to see him still at such a high level. He's a technical master who now very rarely ever gets hit with a clean shot. Pad's don't hit back, but you can generally get a good idea of what level a fighter is at by the speed and balance a fighter has when kicking pads. This video came out just before his fight with Kongsak earlier this year and I don't know that I've ever seen someone kick pads as good as Sam-A. His next fight is also scheduled for the Lumpinee birthday card next month against Rittidej Wor. Wanthavee. If he wins he'll end the year with an 8-0-1 record.