WBC PRESIDENT EXPECTS NEW BENCHMARK FOR MUAYTHAI

9 Oct 2017


WBC convention in Baku

Muaythai was poised to reach a new benchmark in international recognition, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman said prior to opening the 55th convention of the World Boxing Council.

The WBC Muaythai worldwide ranking rankings in all weight divisions, growth and recognition of Muaythai world championships and the respect for the stand-up skills of Muaythai in MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) had given Thailand’s national sport an international standard of professionalism as a world class combat sport.

Citing the use of boxing gloves, standard boxing rings, and three judges and referee for all contests– as in boxing – Mr Sulaiman said the WBC Muaythai had garnered support and respect internationally.

There is expectation that Muaythai is on a new wave for growth and success, and that there is a new benchmark coming for Muaythai as a combat sport of skill, quality and popularity.

Under the umbrella of the WBC, the ring sport of Muaythai had adopted the medical protocols that WBC boxing had established worldwide.

“The WBC provides the framework for safety standards, fair and professional rules and regulations for judges and referees, stated Mr Sulaiman.

Much has changed over the centuries of Muaythai history with the Thai combat sport elevated onto the world stage.

Now into his second term as President, Mauricio Sulaiman said the WBC has taken initiatives to ensure fair match-ups and has taken a strong anti-doping stance, and these measures can be applied to Muaythai.

In the beginning Muaythai fighters fought bare-fisted and the area for combat was marked out in a bare patch of earth. From hemp wrappings to protect the fingers and wrists Thai boxing has adopted gloves and the international standards of the boxing ring.

From the late 1920s to the 1960s, there was a proliferation of Muaythai training camps with punching bags and exercise equipment for fitness and conditioning.

The late 1960’s and 1970’s are regarded as the golden age for Muaythai going international with the emergence of many great fighters - some of whom attained legendary status – exploded onto the world stage.

Across Asia martial arts enjoyed a boom period with action movies incorporating the Thai roundhouse kick into an arsenal of martial arts technique used by a new generation of actors. Due to the rising popularity of the Thai kick, elbow strikes and grappling techniques Muay Thai gyms began appearing in USA, Germany, Holland and Australia. The famous Fairtex training camp was built in the Nevada desert where serious aspiring Muaythai champions trained for elite combat in the ring.

While the popularity of Muaythai continues to grow in Thailand thousands of Muay Thai fighters box regularly in the provincial stadiums and the best head to Bangkok for fame and fortune fighting for ultimate glory in the two big arenas of Rajadamnoen and Lumpinee. Today the traditions and popularity of Muaythai continues. Every Sunday there live Muaythai on Channel 7 nationally televised contests.

All professional Muaythai boxers have their own official ring names. The first part of the name as seen on the fight card program guide is generally their own, while the second is the name of the training camp to which they belong.

Points over all five rounds of three minutes duration are awarded for aggressive effectiveness, forward attacks and fighting skills.

The Wai Khru homage and Ram Muaythai dance before each Muaythai contest that continues today in the modern era originates from the cultural ceremonies held before all contests that are accompanied by a live band that plays distinctive traditional
Thai combat music that encourages the fighting spirit to continue through all five scheduled rounds.

By Patrick Cusick

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