THE SOR PLOENCHIT CAMP

special report by Serge TREFEU (2008)

 

The Sor Ploenchit boxing camp is definitely the most beautiful camp of Bangkok. It was built more than 30 years ago by Mister Satiyan, a millionaire with a sulfurous past. But he became respected pushed by his faithful Buddhist wife, Khun Satiyan for his “karma” built this camp with the aim of accommodating children of modest origin in order to make champions out of them…

Indeed, the camp looks more like a luxurious hotel than a typical Muay Thai camp.

This very calm place is located in a very good district of Bangkok. A beautiful Japanese garden surrounds the house which contains a boxing ring with a dozen of bags. The ground is a varnished, smooth and clean. It is the first impression when entering there, cleanliness and the beauty…

The large and comfortable rooms look like the rest of the place, nice and clean. In these rooms there are no the usual “phatlom” (ventilator) which brews hot air but straightforwardly air-conditioning!

Three cleaning ladies and a cook work permanently by in this big complex. There is also a room with fitness equipments for the physical condition of the boxers. The walls of this huge room are decorated with pictures in black and white of famous boxers who made the glory of the Noble art. Ray Sugar Robinson passing by Rocky Marciano to Mohammed Ali, all the legends of boxing are almost there…

In the middle of the complex throne a splendid Banyan (sacred tree under which Buddha received his illumination). Close to the Banyan a splendid fresco representing the Nak Muays illuminates the place.

This tree is a mystical symbol in the camp because a few years ago a terrible storm damaged the major part of the camp in particular the rooms around the Banyan. The thunder struck everywhere but not on the Banyan. The morning when people came to note the important damages, all was desolation but the Banyan had nothing and was illuminated…

The majority of the boxers who trains there are between 8 and 12 years. They will be formed during years until they reach the maturity of their art. The majority come from Isaan in the towns of Kon Kaen, Buriram and Surin.

A score of boxers permanently is counted but the camp can receive about thirty boarders. In spite of the comfort of the place, the training is very hard. Young fighters wake up at 6 a.m. every day for a jogging then a taxi driver would take them to school. After the nap of the afternoon, they go training again from 3 p.m to 6 p.m. and this every day except on Sunday…

The series at the bags and paos go on without any time-out. Between the few minutes of rest, fighters do massages to each other. These massages are necessary for a good body recovery after such a violent effort. Even the trainer in chief has his own little massage. The boxers finish with the traditional clinch work.

Four trainers take care of the boxers in a very familiar environment. But the trainer in chief, is not kidding and does not hesitate to punish hardly the children who does not work enough according to him. The camp needs good results!

This prestigious camp has already garnered 10 belts of Lumpinee and Radja, and several belts of world boxing championship. Sean Sor Ploenchit is the most famous fighter in boxing, he was World WBA Champion during years in flyweight. He won the WBA belt in 1994 and defended his title 11 times successfully until 1996!

Rachamongkol Sor Ploenchit, current champion of Asia WBC is very good in boxing but has just lost his title against the Filipino Ariel Delgado.

Waruni Sor Pleonchit and Macan Sor Pleonchit were also great champions but in Muay Thai, they took each one a belt of Lumpinee in the 90’s. One of the most talented of his generation is with no doubts Keansak Sor Pleonchit, double champion of Lumpinee who was honoured “best fighter” during 2 years!

One of the lastest champions of the years 2000 still in activity is Surya Sor Ploenchit. He only fights in boxing now. He was Champion of Lumpinee in 147 lbs (67 kg) and victorious of the first S1 tournament against French Farid Villaume in 2003…

Today the spearheads of the camp are Khem Sor Pleonchit, current champion of Radja in 130 lbs (58 kg) who is just 20 years old. He already met 3 times Seanchai Sor Kingstar with 2 defeats and 1 victory. Nin Sor Pleonchit, champion of stadium TV7 in 100 lbs (45 kg), N° 4 of the Omnoi Stadium, he is 18 years old only. And finally, one of the most mediatic and spectacular of the moment in 105 lbs (47 kg) Cuba Sor Ploenchit N° 4 in Radja who is 20 years old. When he was just 14 years old he had already won the belt of champion of Isaan…

Very few foreigners came to train in this unique camp. One of the first champions to come here were the French champion's Guillaume Kerner and Dida Diafat. Some trainings were already organized here with Gille Lamboux (1st French owner of a camp in Thailand). There are also French boxers of different level accompanied by Sidi Koné (3 times champion of France) who had the privilege to train in this 4 stars camp. But Sor Pleonchit does not wish to transform his camp into a “Farang” (foreign) camp, because the prime objective of this camp is to transform his little nak muays for the moment unknown into future stars of the boxing rings…

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