It's a neighbour-nation battle royale in Mandalay this week, with five Muay Thai fighters from Thailand facing up against five Myanmar lethwei fighters on January 6 at Mandalay Diamond Plaza.
The New Year Challenge headline fight will see Myanmar’s top-tier lethwei star Too Too face Muay Thai champ Chanajon Pk, the world’s ninth-ranked Muay Thai middleweight and trains at Saenchai Muay Thai gym in Thailand.
Too Too, 26, of Dragon Power Gym, is already an established presence among Myanmar’s top echelon of
Second perhaps only to his friend Tun Tun Min in Myanmar’s lethwei rankings, Too Too, the 2013 SEA Games Muay Thai gold medallist, is also currently on a bit of an undefeated run: His last fight was a decisive victory, against Peruvian Matteo Celi at last year’s Mandalay Rumbling Lethwei Challenge on November 27. Despite Celi’s large wingspan, Too Too managed to daze and fell the Peruvian, a five-time Muay Thai champion, via knockout 2 minutes and 10 seconds into the third round.
“I want to start the New Year off with a knockout, as a New Year’s present to my fans. So I’ve been training extra hard to do my best. I believe in myself, and that I will achieve my goal. I’m looking forward to celebrating with Mandalay lethwei fans,” Too Too said.
They likely won’t be disappointed: Chanajon’s open attacking style is a good match for Too Too’s technique, which relies on well-timed counterattacks. And like Celi before him, Chanajon, 30, has never set foot in a ring governed by Myanmar’s traditional fighting rules.
“Too Too is one of Myanmar’s best traditional fighters, and Chanajon is a prime match-up for Too Too: He is a rising star in Thailand and at the top of the Muay Thai rankings,” Ko Dattha, the event’s organiser, told to The Myanmar Times.
“It will also be the first lethwei fight for the five Thai Muay Thai fighters, so we’ll see how they adapt to traditional lethwei rules,” he added.
In the event’s undercard matches, Tway Thit Win Hlaing will fight Phra Lung Choi, Byak Kha against face Fa Him, Ba Htoo Maung will square off against Phai See Cunt, and Htun Lwin Moe will battle Hnung Lan Lex.
But first, Taungoo will host another Myanmar-Thailand lethwei challenge, the Battle for Glory, headlined by a clash between 2015 Golden Belt champion Phyan Thway and Thai welterweight champion Sigmanee Kaewsamrit. It’s only days into 2017, but already the schedule is packed with enticing bouts for Myanmar’s lethwei fans.
Nay Pyi Taw FC
United of Thanlyin