Thai Fight held a show in Leicester, England today and featured a who's who of international Muay Thai fighters, from Thailand, France and England. Garnering the most attention was Buakaw of course, who returned to the ring for the first time since his legal debacle.
Buakaw faced Abdoul Toure, a French fighter who had a significant height advantage. Buakaw took the first round very slowly and allowed Toure to get some shots in, mostly knees to the body from the clinch but it was evident that all Buakaw had to do was turn it up a notch. He did just that in the second round where he dropped Toure with a vicious kick to the body, with Toure getting up but the fight being waved off by the referee. What was really impressive about the kick was that it wasn't even to the side that the liver was on, showcasing just how powerful it was.
Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee, who always tries to put on a show did just that against Issam Reghi as he dominated the fight while playing around at the same time. Sudsakorn dropped Reghi in the third with an elbow to really seal the deal.
Also on the card was another international Muay Thai star, Saiyok Pumphanmuang who faced Craig Jose of England. Jose was game but Saiyok, who came out very aggressive with vicious kick counters, clearly had the edge. Jose showcased how tough he is by hanging in there the whole fight, but ultimately Saiyok won a decision.
In one of the closer fights, Houcine Bennoui surprised many by fighting well against Singmanee Kaewsamrit. Bennoui didn't fight at all this year until June and it seems to have done him well. Singmanee was able to land the cleaner knees and body kicks, along with controlling parts of the fight with his teep and that's what got him the victory. Bennoui landed more with punches and low kicks, and even dumped Singmanee a few times. Another close fight was between Dylan Salvador of France and Soloman Wickstead of England, who replaced Liam Harrison on very short notice. It was close, but I thought Wickstead was the sharper of the two. Salvador ended up getting the decision.
Armin Pumphanmuang scored a highlight reel finish over Abdallah Mabel, rocking him with a high kick and then charging in with downward elbows while Mabel was against the ropes, forcing the referee to stop the fight.
Two fights also went untelevised. Jordan Watson of England beat Hamed Hassan of France by decision and by all accounts dominated the fight, dropping Hassan once. Crice Boussoukou of France defeated England's Michael Dicks by decision after dropping Dicks in the third round. Full results below:
67kg: Crice Boussoukou def. Michael Dicks by decision
70kg: Jordan Watson def. Hamed Hassan by decision.
70kg: Armin Pumphanmuang def. Abdallah Mabel by KO (High Kick and Elbows) in Round 2
67kg: Dylan Salvador def. Soloman Wickstead by decision
67kg: Singmanee Kaewsamrit def. Houcine Bennoui by decision
70kg: Saiyok Pumphanmuang def. Craig Jose by decision
72kg: Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee def. Issam Reghi by decision
70kg: Buakaw def. Abdoul Toure by KO (Body Kick) in Round 2