When muay thai champions face their lethwei counterparts, who wins?
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.
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.
Nay Pyi Taw FC
United of Thanlyin