Press ReleasesThailand VS Europe: Business as Usual Despite New Venue
After three successful years in the Blautal Center in Ulm, Elite Boxing’s Thailand VS Europe event was this year relocated to the southern German city’s larger Ratiopharm Arena. It was a case of business as usual, however, as a packed crowd enjoyed a great evening of high quality muaythai.
On March 23, over 3,000 muaythai fans packed into Ulm’s Ratiopharm Arena to watch the now annual Thailand VS Europe event as part of Elite Boxing’s international Thailand VS Challenger Series. Despite a heavy police presence following gang-related violence in the area just a few weeks earlier, EB once again proved that it was committed to keeping the gangs out of muaythai. The atmosphere inside the arena was passionate but positive, and everyone left happy after the event finished with two wins each for the Thais and the Europeans.
The first fight of the evening was a chance for Thai superstar Nonsai Sor Sanyakorn to recover some pride after losing in the corresponding event last year to a spinning elbow from rising German star Enriko Kehl. This time, Nonsai was well-prepared and focused as he won a tough encounter with Steeve Valente of France by a technical KO in the third round.
Europe gained its first win of the evening in the second fight when Christophe Pruvost of Switzerland beat Thailand’s Changpuek Sor. KeawSuek on points. Changpuek seemed to be guilty of underestimating his opponent as a lack of fitness proved decisive.
Thailand was back in front after the third fight when Suriya beat Holland’s Marco Pique on points. A former Olympic bronze medalist in boxing, Suriya Prasathinphimai entertained the crowd with boxing skills not often seen from Thai muaythai fighters who are occasionally criticized by their European opponents for relying too much on their clinch moves.
It was a case of saving the best until last, however, with local favorite Enriko Kehl of Germany back on home soil after beating Nonsai the previous year. Despite being matched against Thailand’s Bernueng TopKingBoxing who is notorious as being almost impossible to knock out, Enriko proved that his spinning elbow KO of Nonsai had been no fluke when he used the same move to dispatch his Thai opponent. It was no more than the 20-year-old local favorite deserved after already cutting Berneung twice with his excellent elbow work in the first two rounds.
Speaking after the event, Elite Boxing’s Toli Makris was full of praise for everyone involved when he said, “After three successful years, I’m delighted we have found a new and even better arena and congratulations to our local Director and Promoter Serdar Karaca for his great work. I’m also glad that there was no trouble. We worked very closely with the police to ensure we had a trouble-free event and I think it shows again just how committed we are to changing the old image of muaythai. The German authorities has been very fair with us and I hope other governments start to appreciate the hard work we are doing.”
Photo By Sapao Photographe and KICKFIGHTER