Thursday, July 19, 2012

HongThongLek Team Quest Thailand Title fight.


Imagine training your entire life (23 years) for the opportunity to one day fight for a world championship. Team Quest Thailand's own resident fighter, HongThongLek Team Quest Thailand is getting just that. After training since the age of 6, HongThongLek has had over 350 fights. At the age of 29 he has finally earned his first shot at the Thailand title. HongThongLek earned an opportunity to fight for the Thailand Title in Bangkok, Thailand at Lumpinee stadium on July 13, 2012.

Leading up to the fight, Team Quest Thailand had lots of time to plan for the event. Being located in the province Chiang Mai, Thailand, we are quite the journey from Bangkok, Thailand. All of the students and the staff here made a trek to show support for HongThongLek. 12 of us in total traveled the 9 hour bus ride to meet and support HongThongLek for his championship fight. Unlike most destinations in Thailand that consist of the big city draw of Bangkok and the overly populated islands. Team Quest Thailand's facility is tucked away on the outskirts of the Jungle in Chiang Mai.

We arrived at 6:00am on Bangkok's legendary tourist trap of Khao San road. This road is infamous amongst backpackers looking to settle in for a few nights and party until the sun rises. Even arriving at 6:00am we sat and ate breakfast and continually watched drunk person after drunk person wandering around.

We decided to stay at 13 coins muay thai gym. The reason being is that this is a gym I personally spent a lot of time at while training in Thailand. During my time there is where I originally met HongThongLek and his twin brother Kru Joe. Kru Joe was my Muay Thai teacher. I spent about 6 months in total working with him. I learned more from him in 6 months than I learned in my previous 6 years of training muay thai. So every day Kru Joe was helping me skill build and then I got to spar and clinch with HongThongLek everyday. It was truly the most amazing training. This is why we brought them on at Team Quest Thailand. Kru Joe was promoted to Head Muay Thai trainer because of his ability to relate and explain muay thai concepts to students.

After we settled in and cleaned up, Ian (Co-CEO of TQ Thailand) and I had an appointment to meet up with Fairtex's general manager, Chano. Chano has been a huge help to us here in Chiang Mai. Fairtex is getting ready to release new models of all of their equipment so he invited us by to personally show us some of these improvements. The new equipment is amazing, I wish I could talk more about it but I will have to wait until they publicly release them.

So by this time, it was starting to get a bit later in the afternoon and it was time to start getting ready for HongThongLek's fight. We had an epic amount of support from the students and his preexisting fans. In all I think we had about 25 foreigners that came out to support him. We were later told by the promoter that HongThongLek's corner that consisted of 25 foreigners strong was a record, surpassing even support for superstars such as Saenchai sor kingstar.


I have said this before and I will say it again. There is no other sporting event in the world that matches the atmosphere of Lumpinee Stadium. The entire crowd is filled with professional gamblers. Every single fight is being bet on. The entire crowd is involved verbally and physically through out the entire event. The best thing about Lumpinee stadium is that it is relatively open. So when you pull up in a taxi you get a feel for what is going on inside.

We arrived after the fights had already started. HongThongLek was the main event of the night so he was rushed to the back. I say the back because at Lumpinee stadium there is no locker room. It's just a area in the back where fighters all prepare and get ready side by side. Literally HongThongLek was preparing with in 10 feet of his opponent Phetchartchay Chaoraiooy. HongThongLek was cool and collected though. He was focused and looked very professional. Remember HongThongLek is a vet of over 350 fights, he's done this before. These two had also fought 3 months prior and HongThongLek won very decisively with a 2nd round KO. Phetchartchay was visually very nervous and he was constantly looking at HongThonglek leading up to the fight.

So HongThongLek's name was called and we made our way to the ring. We had an army of 25 foreigners and a lot of Thai people to march out with him. HongThonLek preformed the wai kru and it was time to start.

Both fighters started off very slow in the 1st round. Both fighters were a bit cautious but in the second round is where HongThongLek took control. I would love to write about some epic battle where HongThongLek barely edged ahead to win the victory. But in reality the fight was never close. HongThongLek was on a different level. He almost played with Phetchartchay. Here is the video:

So now you are looking at the new 115lb Thailand champion at Lumpinee Stadium. What's next for HongThongLek is that he will be defending his title one time on August 7th, 2012. If he is successful than a super fight will be scheduled between him and the current 115lb Lumpinee champion where each fighter will put their belt on the line. Check back soon for updated information on his upcoming fight.


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