Interview of ROB COX by SERGE TREFEU (2009)

 

SERGE TREFEU: Hello Rob How are you ?

ROB COX : I’m good thank you

You are native of England, you grew in which place of the country?

Near in London

Did you discover the boxing and the Muay Thai when you were in England?

Yes I discover Muay Thai maybe 24 years ago. The first time in Europe, in France and in England with guy like Ronnie Green, in Holland with guy like Ramon Dekkers, Rob Kaman…

Have you a past of fighter?

Yes I have fifteen fights in all. Three in Thailand and the rest in England

You fought in Bangkok?

No only in country. It was Sisaket, Ubon and in Udonthani…

It was for which weight?

It was between 73 and 76 kilos

Do you won your fights in Thailand?

Yes three times

What is that you stayed you trained in a camp?

Yes I remained several weeks in the camp Sor Thanikul in Bangkok, a camp with of very great champions. I slept with thais, I trained with them, it was very hard the conditions in this camp, but they are good memories...

What is what attracted you in Muay Thai?

Very beautiful, very dangerous sport, nice to watch, this sport is exciting!

What were the champions of Thai boxing of your time in England?

The number one it was Ronnie Green in the time!

Today you lived in Thailand, in what year you left settling down over there and for how much year you go in Thailand?

I first come to visit Thailand 19 years ago and I come back for living, I lived there for 9 years now…

How you became a sports correspondent in Thailand, speak we us of your reporter's debuts to the country of Muay Thai?

The first time I came for training and to fight. I have a website Ax KickBoxing and I gave news of Thailand above. I began to make reports on camps typical thais as Kiatmuu 9 and to make photos of fights, so I began like that. Then for the other magazines and then for the website Muaythai2000...

You began to work for the press in England or in Thailand?

In Thailand I began the first time in Thailand

Is it difficult for a foreigner to work in the environment of the Thai sports press?

No it is not easy, at the beginning thais did not facilitate me too much the work when I took photos. Now I speak thais, I know everybody that gets much better, it is easier…

You are the only foreigner as a sports correspondent in the Thai Boxing thai in Thailand?

There is Japanese which make reports also but I am the only European journalist to work in Thailand for Muay Thai…

What are until today your best memory of reports?

I have a lot of good memories, my reports in camps to Buriram, in the Northeast, also in the South, they are good moments. Otherwise Thai Fight it is a big moment, a big show, a good memory!

What is that you see a change with regard to the boxers of the 90s?

Now the fights it is more game, the fighters count them points, the first round, the second, the third, in the fourth they begin to dance if they are early, the fifth it is dance again and finished…

Before it was the war of the first one in the last rounds and it was electric, till the end of the fight, it was not the same atmosphere…

You prefer the fights from now or of before?

The fights before…

What are for you the "stars" of the Muay Thai, past and present?

For past I would say Boonlai Sor Thanikul, it was a great champion he was several time a champion of the Lumpinee, he beat many champion as Kaluhat, Superlek, Jongsanan, Lamnamoon, Chatchai, it was an extraordinary technician, I was lucky to trained with him…

Today I like Phetpanomrung Kiatmoo9 the young brother of Panomrunglek but there are many of the others, Seanchai, Sakedao, the big technicians, I like so punchers, I cannot say really which I prefer…

In Thailand, there are many promoters, what are the ones according to you who organize the most beautiful boxing show today?

For me it is Songchai the number 1 because he manages to go up the most beautiful shows with well-balanced fights, he respects the level between the fighters, it gives very intense fights with decisions very close final. The promoter Petchyndee also organizes good fights, in fact I would say for Radja Songchai and for Lumpinee, Petchyindee…

At present in what stadium of Bangkok there have the best fights?

I would say Lumpinee…

Today, at the level of the foreigners who often fight in Thailand, do you have foreign fighters who are as strong as the champions Thai, who can compete with them?

Today it is not any more as before, to face really the Top in Thailand there are only two or three guys really hardly, it is all, guys as Liam Harrison, Fabio Pinca but they do not fight rather often in big stadium as Skarbowsky made him for example who beat many champions in Lumpinee and in Radja…

But I would say Fabio is one of all better, he is the very strong fighter who can fight every the fortnight against boxers very hardly, it is not everything the fighters who can make that. Liam also is very strong, he can face everybody…

Do you know French boxers, French champions?

(Laugh) Yeah ! I know many. Before when I lived in England, I went to see in France in Paris to see the big shows with the fights of Dida vs Dekkers, Cesar vs Dany Bill, Totof, Nikiema also, there are many French champions, I do not remember to myself any more all the names…

I know Skarbowsky, a great champion otherwise now there is Fabio Pinca, the young Damien Alamos also, he lives in Thailand, fights with the heart, it is strong, aggressive, I like. There are many French champions who also came to train in my camp, as Fabio Pinca, Mickael Piscitello, Yohan Lidon, Houcine Benoui, Karim Benoui…

How is Muay Thai in England, and which are the champions today over there?

There are many champions today, guys very good as Liam Harrison, Jordan Watson, Steve Wakling, Damien Trainor, at present there are many of the good fighters in England. Regrettably there are not enough peoples which go to see the fights. There are big shows organized with beautiful fights but not enough public. English prefer the football that Muay Thai…

For you what are countries strong in Muay Thai in Europe?

I would say England, France and Belarus. Belarus they have very good fighters but many in amateurishly. England and France are the best at the professional level in Europe in Muay Thai, I think..

What is for you the difference between the European fighters and the Thai fighters?

The thais boxers fight to eat, to feed their family, they begin very young, it is to try to live better…

The boxers European begin at first because they like this sport it is not the same thing. Even if they do not gain a lot of money, they will continue to fight. The thais boxers put all their hope in their career to be able to gain most possible money, it is different…

Now there are several international federations for Muay Thai what are for you the most credible at the world level?

Difficult to say but I would say the WBC is one of the best federations, him have boxer's very good ranking

Speak to us about your camp the KIATPHONTIP GYM, since when it is opened and which are the boxers who trainings over there?

Kiatphontip Gym exists for 15 years in the South of the Thailand near Phattalung. There was Jompop Kiatphontip, champion of the South, who fought for Songchai, he fought in main fight in Lumpinee, in Radja, he met Phuja, Seanchainoi, Chatchanoi, there was also Samingprai Kiatphontip who met Kaensak, Kompayak, Petanong, he was a champion of the Tournament Tamdjai, he fought for a belt of Radja, there were many good fighters in this camp. In May, 2008 with Jompop who is the brother of my wife we opened Kiatphontip Gym in Bangkok. We had Samsamut Kiatchongkao who trained to us, he is prepared at home for these two fights for Radja, he gained the belt of Thailand and the belt of Radja in 2010. We have Pet Eng a young boy who has already gained several titles, twice champion of the South, champion of Surathani. Petchlamsin also which is very good, he fights for Songchai. We have at the moment 9 thais fighters in our gym…

Does the foreigners are welcome in your camp, which level of boxing you accept to be able to training in your gym?

We accept all the levels. Sometimes there are many foreigners in my camp sometimes little. I try to keep a balance enter the number of Thai boxer and foreign not to make a camp only with foreigners…

For a foreigner it’s easy to create a camp in Thailand, especially in Bangkok?

It is very, very difficult but for me it was not too hard because the family of my wife are in Muay Thai for a long time, they know a lot of people in the world of the muay…

You are married with a Thai, do you are interested a lot in the Thai culture?

When you are married with a Thai you have to be necessarily interested in the Thai culture, in the traditions of the country and Muay Thai makes left from the Thai culture thus it interests me a lot, of course…

You keep busy also a website on Muay Thai, www.muaythaifocus.com, can you say to us some words on this website?

Yes I have make this website since 3 years and I am soon going to change the design, to make of new thing to improve him, put reports, interviews, some things of different. But at the moment, I work for 1 year for the website Muaythai2000 a lot which is a big website on Muay Thai, there are always news important to cover for this website. Let us say that Muaythaifocus it is my hobbies and Muaythai2000 it is for the job…

I thank you for this interview and CHOOKDEE for the boxers of the Kiatphontip Gym

No problem, thanks to you

 

Rob Cox is a journalist recognized in Thailand for his articles and his photos always of qualities. He works for international newspapers Australian (International Kick Boxer), English (fighters), Dutch (Royal Rumble), and French (Karate Bushido) and with the famous Thai magazine "MuaySiam ". But also for Websites as "Muaythai2000" and "Muay Thai Focus". Today he is also a sports commentator for the English television, he comments on fights in Thailand broadcasted on an English TV channel. Rob who is installed for 9 years in Thailand it is created many connections in the world of Muay Thai to Bangkok. Thanks to him, big shows were able to have risen in England with star fights as Liam Harrison vs Seanchai Sor Kingstar!

His camp Kiatphontip Gym is situated in the suburb of the Thai capital in the district of Salaya not far from the university Mahidol. He is in a quiet place, aerated well, good far from the infernal pollution of the Thai capital. It is a camp with an authentic training in the thai, many foreign champions came to train in Kiatphontip. But everybody is welcome in Kiatphontip Gym, trainers adapts itself at every level boxers…

 

KIATPHONTIP GYM

6/1 Moo 2 Salathammasop

Thaweewatana

Bangkok 10170

Tel: 028893289

Website: www.kiatphontipgym.com