Monday, August 21, 2017

Myanmar takes four of five in New Year Challenge

When muay thai champions face their lethwei counterparts, who wins?

Myanmar’s top flight lethwei fighter Too Too (right) delivers a high left kick to Thailand’s Chanajon PK (left) in the January 6 New Year Challenge held in Mandalay’s Diamond Plaza. Photos: Zarni Phyo / The Myanmar TimesMyanmar’s top flight lethwei fighter Too Too (right) delivers a high left kick to Thailand’s Chanajon PK (left) in the January 6 New Year Challenge held in Mandalay’s Diamond Plaza. Photos: Zarni Phyo / The Myanmar Times

The age-old question was put to the test on January 6’s New Year Challenge, which featured five Myanmar lethwei fighters against five of Thailand and Laos’ best muay thai combatants in Mandalay’s Diamond Plaza.

In four of five fights, lethwei fighters proved their superiority by winning mid-round knockouts, with the only draw coming in the headline bout between Myanmar’s Too and Thailand’s Chanajon PK.

That contest saw first-class fighter Too Too take on Chanajon PK, one of Thailand’s top muay thai experts. The 26-year-old Too Too, known for his characteristic counter-attacking style, met a worthy opponent in Thailand’s 9th ranked Chanajon, who often waits for opponents to open up weaknesses before delivering devastating high kicks.

Coming off a string of victories – including a November knockout of Peru’s Matteo Celi – Myanmar’s former SEA Games gold medallist had the home crowd on their feet through the first two rounds. But Chanajon proved stubborn, managing to absorb and return Too Too’s strikes as they fell.

Htun Lwin Moe (right) knocks out Laos' Hnun Lan Lax just two minutes into the second round of their fight. He was one of four Myanmar champions to knock out their muay thai-trained opponents.Htun Lwin Moe (right) knocks out Laos' Hnun Lan Lax just two minutes into the second round of their fight. He was one of four Myanmar champions to knock out their muay thai-trained opponents.

After five 3-minute rounds, neither man managed to finish off his opponent and both settled for a draw. But that headline fight proved to be the only one left undecided, as the other four Myanmar lethwei fighters dropped each of their challengers.

A rabid crowd cheered as Byatga beat Laos fighter Fa Him 2 minutes and 3 seconds into the second round. Ba Htoo Maung needed just one more second to beat his opponent, Thailand’s Phai See Cunt.

They kept cheering when Htun Lwin Moe knocked out Laos’ Hnung Lan Lex 2 minutes into the second round of their fight, and erupted when Golden Belt champion Thway Thit Win Hlaing knocked out Thailand’s Phra Lung Choi 1 minute and 56 seconds into the third round.

TeamGPGDPTS
10 19 20
10 10 22
Yadanarbon
10 6 21
Ayeyawady United
10 5 15
Rakhine United
10 0 14
Magwe FC
10 -2 13
Zwekapin United
10 -4 13
Nay Pyi Taw FC
10 -8 9
10 -6 8
10 -6 7
Chin United
10 -7 7
GFA FC
10 -7 6
Last Updated - 1 April 2017
TeamGPGDPTS
Manaw Myay
22 51 52
GFA
22 21 49
Nay Pyi Taw FC
22 33 48
Mahar United
22 31 48
Myawady FC
22 23 36
Mawyawadi FC
22 1 35
City Stars
22 1 28
University FC
22 -17 23
Dagon FC
22 -11 20
Pong Gan
22 -37 12
United of Thanlyin
22 -47 11
Silver Stars
22 -49 10
Last Updated - 28 August 2016