Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Honours even on fight night

The main event at the Thein Phyu Stadium yesterday featuring local lethwei champion Saw Gaw Muu Do and his Thai challenger Payak Samui lived up to its billing, the capacity crowd cheering every moment of the contest that ended in a thrilling draw after five action-packed rounds.

 Saw Gaw Muu Do (left) delivers a high kick to the face of his opponent Payak Samui of Thailand last night. Zarni Phyo/ The Myanmar TimesSaw Gaw Muu Do (left) delivers a high kick to the face of his opponent Payak Samui of Thailand last night. Zarni Phyo/ The Myanmar Times

Foreign fighters, one each from Cambodia and Uzbekistan, and three from Thailand lent an international flair to an evening dubbed ‘’Lethwei Nation Fight’’ in what basically was a contest between exponents of Muaythai boxing and Myanmar’s traditional lethwei fighters.

Seven bouts were on the cards, all fought under lethwei rules, with only two featuring an all-local cast.

The other five saw a foreign Muaythai boxer take on a local challenger. There was a clear winner in three fights while four ended in draws, including the one involving Saw Gaw Muu Do and Payak Samui.

But despite the draw, the main fight had the crowd on the edge as both boxers produced an excellent exhibition of their defense and counter-punching skills.

Payak Samui proved a clever fighter, waiting for his opponent to make an error of judgment before going on the attack, while Saw Gaw Muu Do’s plan was to use high kicks and head butts but he could not get close enough to the Thai.

In the first round, both fighters watched and tested each other out, waiting for the other to make a mistake.

In the second, Gaw Mu Do went on the offensive with powerful kicks to his adversary’s body and one-two punching combinations, but Payak Samui was equal to the task, proving why he is rated so highly in Thailand. The Thai blocked and counter-attacked whenever he spotted an opening.

The tempo picked up in round three, with both fighter unleashing the full range of weapons in their armoury.

In the fourth and fifth rounds, lethwei fans got a glimpse of Payak Samui’s subtle but telling use of the elbow and an equally elegant back kick executed by Gaw Mu Do.

In other action, two bouts involving local fighters ended in draws while Myanmar’s Kayin Lay knocked out Bonnum from Thailand 1 minute and 57 seconds into the first round, and local golden belt holder Mite Yine stopped Tolabaev of Uzbekistan 1 minute and 32 seconds into the fourth rounds. The fight between Kyal Sin Phyo of Myanmar and Saikham of Thailand ended in a draw.

Cambodia’s Ly Phea was the only foreign fighter to win last night. He knocked out Moe Hein of Myanmar after only 58 seconds into the third round.


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