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Muay Thai Report

ELNA NILSSON OF SWEDEN
October 2016 and Elna Nilsson is in training for her next fight in the historic small city of Lund in Southern Sweden, famous for its cathedral and its ancient university.
538 Read
NOT GOODBYE!
RON SIMPSON pays a personal tribute to the remarkable MARIA ‘IRON BARBIE’ PANTAZI, a much-loved friend of Billionmore/Hero Sporto, on her retirement from fighting.
156 Read
Full Contact in Rochester
Full Contact in Rochester
I found myself in the Casino Rooms, Rochester, on Sunday, September 8th...

779 Read
CHRISTI’S RETURN

A few years ago Christi was one of the most exciting young female Muay Thai fighters in the UK and one whom I and many others always had a special regard for. Now, she has returned!! 

1115 Read
UNITED AT ELLAND ROAD
When I started doing these columns nearly five years ago, with the crazily optimistic intention of producing one a month, the first person I approached for guidance on Muay Thai was Richard Smith of Bad Company Gym, Leeds. He was a good choice and, though my ignorance remains considerable, I like to think I don’t have too many wrong ideas!
936 Read
FUSION EFFECT 1, A NIGHT OF KICKBOXING

 Increasingly I find that the title I originally chose for these columns, Muay Thai in UK, doesn’t match the subjects, even now we’ve dropped the ‘UK’ part. This time I stay within the UK, but venture into kickboxing, with a nice success story for one of Billionmore’s favourite Hall of Famers.

1538 Read
Maria Vs Rossella Setti

 A year ago I wrote about Iron Challenge 2 and the power of television. On April 28th I returned to Athens to see Billionmore’s favourite fighter, Maria Pantazi, compete in Iron Challenge 3. No apologies for writing about Maria again. Not only is she a dynamic and very popular fighter with a wonderful personality, but we are close enough to her to get the inside track on what life is like for a successful kickboxer.

1820 Read
Graham Vs Eddie Forbes
 On Saturday March 3rd, in a tournament promoted by Wossobama Gym in Ayr, a 44-year-old Muay Thai fighter made his comeback after three years out of the ring
2343 Read
MUAY THAI IN AYRSHIRE

 What is a small gym? STEWART MURDOCH of North Ayrshire Muay Thai always refers to his gym as a small club taking on the big boys, but how small is a gym that can turn out 12 fighters, from juniors to A class, and bring in an enthusiastic crowd of approximately 600?

2366 Read
A WEEKEND’S MUAY THAI: BARNSLEY AND HEYWOOD

Pete Spensley had a vision – or, to be less dramatic, an ambitious plan: to run a regular series of dual events, each of 30 junior Muay Thai matches during the day, followed by an adult show in the evening, with fighters from the full Celtic fringe competing with the English for Celtic Challenge Championships, plus a few British championship fights sanctioned by the WRSA.

2966 Read
THE POWER OF TELEVISION: K1 IN GREECE

Anyone who has read these columns will be aware of the very warm relationship between Billionmore and the wonderful Greek fighter and delightful friend Maria Pantazi. My reason for visiting Athens was to see the brilliant Iron Barbie in action, but I think I’ve written rather a lot about my favourite kickboxer, so let’s take a different angle.

2091 Read
Muay Thai in UK 25 : CANCELLATION = FRUSTRATION
There are many reasons, some of them very good, why fights are cancelled at short notice and also why some fighters are difficult to match. To take the most obvious, training injuries can occur a few days before the fight as easily as three weeks before and trainers are sometimes naturally reluctant to put their fighters in with dangerous opponents.
2086 Read
Muay Thai in UK 24 :SANDY AND THE BATTLE OF BOLTON
Initially I was interested in the Battle of Bolton IKON VI on Sunday December 5th for three reasons, apart from enjoying 15 Muay Thai bouts. I was selling Hero Sporto kit there and it gave me an opportunity to see at close quarters the most flamboyant figure in British Muay Thai (and one of the most controversial), Sandy Holt.
2912 Read
Muay Thai in UK 23 :LAUREN(E) THEN AND NOW

BKK Promotions’ All Female Muay Thai Show at Plymouth Guildhall featured three title fights, including one of Billionmore’s favourite fighters, Christi Campbell, drawing with the classy and stylish Sally McCarthy of Sukhothai Bournemouth for a Southern Area Junior title.

2702 Read
Muay Thai in UK 22 :THE FINAL FIGHT

The appropriately named The Final Fight was the stage on which Billionmore Hall of Famer SCOTT ‘TITLETAKER’ ALLAN made the third and final defence of his WKA World Bantamweight Title in what was his last amateur kickboxing bout! Billionmore’s newest reporter and fellow Hall of Famer DEAN FORD was there to witness a fantastic night of kickboxing action!

2364 Read
Muay Thai in UK 21 : IRON BARBIE A HIT IN UK DEBUT
Recently Billionmore decided for the first time to sponsor a fighter’s travel expenses in order to bring a European star to fight in England. Inevitably our choice was the fabulous ‘Iron Barbie’, MARIA PANTAZI, pride of Greece.
RON SIMPSON was there to see how it worked out!

3424 Read
Muay Thai in UK 20 : JUNIORS WEEKEND
JUNIORS WEEKEND
The WKA Junior Open Championships at the North Birmingham Sports Centre on May 1st and 2nd included appearances by several Billionmore Hall of Famers, proof of our intention to encourage outstanding young talent, and also proved to be a fine exercise in creating order out of chaos, as RON SIMPSON found.


2653 Read
Muay Thai in UK 19 : GRIPHOUSE AT ORAN MOR

Reading the axkickboxing website after a major Muay Thai tournament is always fascinating. Posts come in of congratulations, often from rival gyms and even defeated opponents, evidence of the healthy sportsmanship of Muay Thai. But where there are disputes they soon become surprisingly bitter and abusive – there must be history between the guys in question, you feel.

2917 Read
Muay Thai in UK 18 : LAST MAN STANDING

What a great idea, an 8-man tournament! Broken up by supporting bouts, the programme moves through four quarter-finals and two semi-finals into the grand climax of the tournament final! There are so many advantages

1454 Read
Muay Thai in UK 17 : HEARTBREAK IN HUELVA
Ron Simpson shares the grief of the Greek WKA team in Punta Umbria at the unexpected defeat of their much-loved talisman, MARIA PANTAZI.
2608 Read
Muay Thai in UK 16 : Helping To Develop Muay Thai
The Lee Smith Memorial Show at Newton Aycliffe on September 6th was a highly enjoyable, efficiently run show, with a marvellously warm atmosphere. As an afternoon’s Muay Thai it had its drawbacks, through no fault of the promoter.
3765 Read
Muay Thai in UK 15 : Born to Fight - HEYWOOD CIVIC CENTRE

On Sunday 28th June I went to Heywood Civic Centre for Born to Fight, an afternoon bill of B and C class fights promoted by GFC Muay Thai, a particularly enjoyable afternoon’s boxing for at least three reasons.

3269 Read
Muay Thai in UK 14 : Lovely and Lethal?
LOVELY AND LETHAL?
I remember a year or two ago seeing pictures of a female boxing match (not Muay Thai) on some website or other. One of the boxers had the words, ‘Lovely but Lethal’, across the back of her shorts. Sadly for her, only the first was true as she crumpled before a stronger opponent, clearly on her way to early defeat.
9200 Read
Muay Thai in UK 13:MUAY THAI IN CARDIFF

Looking back to the first of these columns, I am embarrassed to see that I hoped to do one every two weeks. My record, as of now, is less than one a month, though I hadn’t realised that Billionmore would design the pages so elegantly (which takes longer!). Checking some 18 months of columns, I also find that Yorkshire and Lancashire have occupied rather a lot of my attention, understandable, I suppose, as I live in West Yorkshire and so much good Muay Thai happens either side of the Pennines.

1830 Read
Muay Thai in UK 12 : PAM CHONYUT - A STAR OF THREE CONTINENTS!

This column began in a mystery and ended in the chance to find out about a wonderful young talent. A few months ago, looking through Mies Stolp’s photographs of a Muay Thai tournament in the small town of Bladel in the Netherlands, I was astonished and delighted to come across a young female boxer whose glamour and evident boxing pedigree far outshone her rather ordinary surroundings. It was immediately obvious that here was someone with an unusual and interesting story – and so it proved.

2940 Read
Muay Thai in UK 11 : PHOENIX: A GROWING REPUTATION IN THE NORTH EAST
On September 7th at Newton Aycliffe Leisure Centre in Co. Durham 14-year-old Glen Fowler had his first public Muay Thai contest – time for a youngster to be a bit nervous, you might think, especially as his opponent, Reece Christlow (Northern Academy of Martial Art), was more experienced than he was. However, standing calmly in his corner, Glen looked completely composed, focussed, unmoved by the cheers of the crowd.
5081 Read
Muay Thai in UK 10 : BILLIONMORE HALL OF FAMERS AT LEEDS TOWN HALL
The Bad Company promotion at Leeds Town Hall on June 14th proved beyond doubt the healthy and improving state of Muay Thai in the UK. In every way this was an impressive evening.
4716 Read
Muay Thai in UK 9 : A PROFESSIONAL LIFE: LIAM ROBINSON
On May 4th, at the Power of Scotland 4 tournament at the Lagoon, Paisley, near Glasgow, Liam Robinson lost his ISKA Professional British Welterweight crown against Scotland’s John Douglas. After being put down in the 4th round, Liam won the final round by a clear margin to force a split decision – inevitably, like all split decisions, a matter of some controversy............
2630 Read
Muay Thai in UK 8 : A NIGHT OF DISAPPOINTMENTS
I chose the title for this article when I was certain that Frankie Hudders (Frank’s Gym, Wythenshawe), local favourite and co-promoter, had failed in his bid to take the ISKA World Welterweight Muay Thai Championship from Tim Thomas (Team TNT, Bedford).............
3360 Read
Muay Thai in UK 7 : JORDAN CALDER – RISING STAR OF SCOTLAND
Just over two years ago, at a Bad Company show in East End Park Club, Leeds, I first came across the remarkable Jordan Calder. On a bill of mainly good standard novice fighters, the boy taking the ITKBA British Junior Title stood out as the star of the show........
5296 Read
Muay Thai in UK 6 : YOUNGSTERS AT LEEDS AND HEERLEN (part 2)
In Youngsters at Leeds and Heerlen (part one) I wrote about Bad Company's Leeds promotion on December 1st. Since it's widely accepted that the UK and the Netherlands are the leading European nations for Muay Thai, it seemed a good idea to compare it to Sportlife and Spirit's show in Heerlen on December 15th...........
1995 Read
Muay Thai in UK 6 : YOUNGSTERS AT LEEDS AND HEERLEN (part 1)

How does Muay Thai at grass roots level in the UK stack up against the rest of Europe? I decided to compare shows in the UK and the Netherlands, both in December, both featuring mainly young and inexperienced boxers.

2451 Read
Muay Thai in UK 5 : JUDGING FOR THE BEST
Is inconsistency among officials – judges and referees – a problem in UK Muay Thai? The fact that there are no nationally required qualifications is not ideal, but at most Muay Thai promotions (probably, all major ones), standards seem high. It’s true that promoters can simply invite people to judge because they know a fair bit of Muay Thai, but by and large they seem to invite the right people.
1723 Read
Muay Thai in UK 4 : AIMING HIGH – CHRISTI CAMPBELL
I first saw Christi Campbell of Saints, Plymouth, on DVD, twice fighting Sally McCarthy of Sukhothai Bournemouth and failing to win either bout. In 2005 Sally was very much the home favourite and, though giving Sally a hard fight, Christi, in her first fight, was definitely second-best: her version is, ‘I didn’t really do much except jab cross’.
3036 Read
Muay Thai in UK 3 : MASTER SKEN, MUAY THAI AND THE M60
If you want to know what the Muay Thai community in the UK thinks about Master Sken's promotions.
1851 Read
Muay Thai in UK 2 : BADCOMPANY AND MR SMITH

Just off York Road near Leeds City Centre, Glenthorpe Crescent is a very ordinary residential street, its most striking building a former cinema, home to Bad Company, one of the most successful Muay Thai gyms in the country, presided over (from the old cinema balcony) by its founder, RICHARD SMITH.

1629 Read
Muay Thai in UK 1

I’m delighted to say that my favourite website has given me the chance to report on Muay Thai in Great Britain. I hope to write a piece every two weeks or so, including reports on Muay Thai shows, interviews with the people who matter and profiles of established stars or enthusiastic beginners – plus any good ideas that you, the readers, give me.

1752 Read

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