Photo of the Week: Young Muay Thai Boxer in Chiang Mai
You can’t walk through Chiang Mai without being handed a flyer promoting Real Muay Thai Fights.
I had seen a couple of free exhibition fights in Bangkok and couldn’t resist the urge to check out the real thing.
Alas, it wasn’t very real at all. There are three different places that feature fights, but they’re all set up to bring in the tourist dollar and are quite small affairs, seating maybe 100 people at most. The fights were lackluster and neither opponent seemed to be too interested in winning. Two of the fights involved young boys as in the photo above and they made more of an effort than the pros.
My friend Dave and I had chosen this night because and American nicknamed RoboCop was at the top of the bill. We had a chance to talk to him before his bout and ironically,he turned out to be a fellow Austinite. When asked how long he’d been fighting, he replied “I’ve been training for five weeks. This is my first fight.” Oh boy…
He faced off against a 40-year-old veteran whose main intent seemed to be “don’t hurt the farang” and though RoboCop made a good effort, he had zero chance of winning the fight. The promoters simply featured him at the top of the bill to draw in foreigners.
Bored and feeling 400 baht poorer, we left before the main fight and headed to the Chiang Mai Gate in search of some cheap beer and street food.