Tawanchai and Nuenglanlek score stoppage wins down south
At the Paranchai birthday show in Nakhon Si Thammarat last night Muay Thai fans witnessed what felt like a changing of the guard. Two of the biggest names of the decade were knocked out in stunning fashion by two of the top stars on the current stadium scene.
The show was held to celebrate the 53rd birthday of Paranchai Adithepworapan, owner of the Paranchai Gym and a respected figure in Nakhon Sri Thammarat, with all the proceeds going to the local Thung song Hospital.
It drew in a huge crowd, with takings at the gate reaching 3,290,000 baht despite the tickets being priced at only 200 and 300 baht. The main event saw young talk of the town Tawanchai PKSaenchaigym facing veteran star Sangmanee Sangmaneemuaythai gym in an all southpaw clash.
Something to prove
Sangmanee looked like he had something to prove right from the off, as he tried to test the chin of Tawanchai with some hard punches. His opponent is a master technician though and moved well while countering with heavy body kicks.
In the second round Sangmanee upped the pressure, looking to attack the legs of Tawanchai with some solid low kicks, while carrying on trying to test his chin with heavy shots. Tawanchai did a good job of staying out of trouble and countered with more hard body kicks.
In the third the action started to heat up as both stood in the centre of the ring and traded heavy kicks. Sangmanee again looked the aggressor but Tawanchai was unfazed and managed to dump him to the canvas a couple of times after catching his kicks.
Sangmanee pushed forward again at the start of round four but the round was barely underway when Tawanchai unleashed a fast, hard high kick that dropped Sangmanee for an eight count. He beat the count, but looked groggy and was dropped instantly with a push kick to the face.
The referee could see Sangmanee was in no state to continue and called off the fight, giving Tawanchai a big win on his record and possibly edging him a bit closer to becoming the next Sports Writers ‘Fighter of the Year’.
In the co-main event Muangthai PKSaenchaigym took on Neunglanlek Jitmuangnon. The former has been nicknamed ‘The Elbow Zombie’ by the Thai press and came into the fight on the back of a KO win over Neunglanlek’s stablemate Panpayak.
The fight started in typical slow Thai style in the opening round with the only real talking point a solid right hand from Neunglanlek. In the second round Muangthai started to push forward with his customary aggression, attacking with some strong southpaw left kicks and punches.
Neunglanlek’ looked slick though and really up for the fight as he used lateral movement to step off of Muangthai’s attacks and countered with fast right punches and kicks.
In the third the fight exploded to life as Muangthai marched forward into the clinch and started to unload with his trademark elbows. Neunglanlek’s strength is in the clinch and he straight away looked to try and get the controlling position, before starting to unload with elbows of his own.
Neunglanlek quickly opened up a cut by the left eye of Muangthai and this upped the intensity even more as both started to trade hard elbows in some electric exchanges.
Muangthai caught Neunglanlek with a fast high kick, but he just shrugged it off and poked his tongue out. Shortly after Neunglanlek’ opened up with a huge elbow, that crashed into the jaw of Muangthai and rendered him unconscious.