Friday, August 18, 2017

Slug fest this weekend

EIGHT action-packed bouts featuring three foreign and five local fighters are on the cards tomorrow at the World Lethwei Championship at the Thuwana Indoor Stadium.

Artur Saladiak of Poland takes on Myanmar’s Soe Lin Oo (right) in the main event tomorrow. Nyan Zay Htet/ The Myanmar TimesArtur Saladiak of Poland takes on Myanmar’s Soe Lin Oo (right) in the main event tomorrow. Nyan Zay Htet/ The Myanmar Times

The main event is a title fight in the light middleweight division where top local contender Soe Lin Oo will be challenging Polish Muaythai champion Artur Saladiak for the belt. The other foreign fighters in action on the day are also exponents of Muaythai – one French and one Australian.

The action, fittingly billed ‘’Ancient Warriors’’, is essentially a showdown between Muaythai and lithwei, a form of martial art native to Myanmar.

Preceding the main event will be a bout between local hero Too Too who will be up against James Benal of France while Phoe Thaw, another local challenger, faces Australian Josh Fitzroy.

All the three foreign fighters are Bangkok-based exponents of Muaythai.

Soe Lin Oo, 26 is a golden belt in lithwei with a career record of 50 wins, 32 draws and only one loss. ‘’I have a good record against foreign fighters. And I intend to keep it that with a victory tomorrow,” he said in a pre-fight interview.

Saladiak, his opponent, was equally confident. “I think I can knock out Soe Lin Oo. I am a very aggressive fighter. I will keep moving forward, and I am confident I can finish him off,” retorted the 26-year-old Pole.

The Polish fighter is a British K-1 and Muaythai champion boasting a record of 15 wins and 5 losses.

‘’I am super excited. This is a fantastic opportunity for me and I want to put on a good show for Myanmar fans. I’ve learned what I know about him from watching his videos. He is a very good fighter and I think we will put up a good fight together,” he added.

The Too Too-Benal bout is a middleweight matchup. Too Too, 27, is a SEA Games gold medallist, owner of a golden belt in lethwei fighter while Benal is an accomplished Muaythai fighter currently based in Bangkok.

As for the third fight involving local and foreign fighters, it pits Phoe Thaw against Fitzroy in the light middleweight class. Phoe Thaw, 32, has a record of six wins and two draws. He has never lost a fight and is also an MMA champion while Fitzroy is Australia’s middleweight champion.

“I think he is a tough fighter and he never gives up easily. I’ll need to try hard in this fight. (but) Whatever, I’ll be looking for a knockout victory and I’ve prepared well for this fight.” Phoe Thaw said.

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