« THE IRON HANDS »
Apisak Rongpichai was born on 17 November 1981 in Chang Klang in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, a region in southern Thailand. Apisak’s father was a construction machine driver and his mother was a housewife. The only son, the young Apisak grew up without knowing boxing.
At the age of 13 years, Apisak accompanied Jay Aoï to Bangkok. Jay Aoï was a member of Apisak’s family and a girlfriend of Mr. Anan Chantip (Khru Sri Muang Sing Suan Ngoen).
Mr. Anan Chantip, from Chiang Mai, a former champion of the country’s north (200 fights), is the founder of the famous Kaewsamrit camp in Bangkok.
Apisak had never done boxing, he had come to work in the Kaewsamrit camp just to help. Then he started to like boxing and to train seriously. After only three months of practice, he did his first fight in Pattaya. He won 150 baht and knocked out his opponent in the third round, a puncher was born!
Apisak adopted the fighter name of Anuwat Kaewsamrit in reference to Mr. Anuwat Thawornwong. Mr. Anuwat Thawornwong was a businessman who sponsored camp Kaewsamrit, his two children, his son Jirakit Thawornwong and his daughter Worranit Thawornwong, are well-known film actors in Thailand.
Anuwat who was fully formed at the Kaewsamrit Gym quickly became one of the stars of the camp. In the 2000s, this camp was one of the best in Bangkok. Founded in 1992, the Kaewsamrit Gym was voted “Best Boxing Camp of the Year in 2002”!
Great champions have represented this famous camp such as Watcharachai Kaewsamrit (WMC world champion in 122 lbs, Radja champion in 126 lbs, Thailand champion in 122 lbs, Best boxer of the year 2000 by “The Sports Authority of Thailand” ) from the province of Nakhon Si Thammarat, Krirkchai Kaewsamrit (Lumpinee champion in 112 lbs) from the province of Nakhon Si Thammarat, Khunphinit Kiattawan (Lumpinee champion in 112 lbs and 122 lbs) from the province of Phatthalung, Yutthachak Kaewsamrit (Omnoi champion in 126 lbs, winner of the Shell Remula tournament in 126 lbs) from the province of Phaya Mengrai Chiang Raï, Rittikak Kaewsamrit (World champion WMC in 118 lbs, world champion S1 in 118 lbs) from the province of Phaya Mengrai Chiang Raï, Chanachai Kaewsamrit (Radja champion in 160 lbs, WPMF world champion in 160 lbs) from the province of Nakhon Sawan.
The legendary Singmanee (Radja champion, world champion WMC, WPMF) and Bowee (Radja champion, Thailand champion, world champion WMC) also fought for Kaewsamrit Gym for several years.
But the champion who has marked the history of Kaewsamrit Gym the most is undoubtedly Anuwat Kaewsamrit. This gifted boxer had lightning in his fists, this terrible “Muay Mat” (Strong in fist) is considered by specialists to be the biggest “Matnak” (Puncher) of the 2000s.
Nicknamed “The Iron Hands” by Muay Thai fans, Anuwat has blasted ring stars such as Singdam Kiatmuu 9, Petchek Sitjaopor, Bovy Sor Udomson, Nopparat Keatkamton, Kongpipop Petchyindee, Lerdsila Chumpairtour, Singtongnoi Por Telakun, Nungubon Sitlerchai, Orono Tawan, Puja Sor Suwanee, Ronnachai Naratrikoon!
Anuwat was also nicknamed “Phetchakat Kon Tagon” (The executioner with curved eyelashes). He made 200 fights for 156 wins (60 KO), 40 losses and 4 draws. He won 12 belts and he was voted “Best Boxer of the Year” by the prestigious institutions “Sports Writers Association of Thailand” in 2003 and 2004 and “Sports Authority of Thailand” in 2004 and 2005!
Anuwat made his first fight in the stadium of Radja at 15 years old. At only 17 years old, in 1998, he beat Japanese champion Hinari Fukatsu by KO in Tokyo, Japan.
A month later, in the stadium of Radja, Anuwat beat by KO Klangsuan Sasiprapagym for the title of Radja in 105 lbs (Klangsuan will later become champion of Radja and champion of Thailand in 140 lbs in 2005)!
On June 10, 1999, in the stadium of Radja, Anuwat beat Kayasit Chuwatthana (Radja champion in 118 lbs in 2007) for the Radja belt in 108 lbs. A tough opponent he defeated twice on points.
In February 2000, in the stadium of Radja, Anuwat won his third Radja belt. He beat on points the solid Wanchokchai Kaennorasing of the famous Jocky Gym for the title of Radja in 112 lbs!
In 2001 and 2002, Anuwat made great fights, he beat big names in the discipline like Naruenart Siangsimewgym (N°1 of the TV7 stadium), Thailand Pinsinchai (Radja champion in 118 lbs, Lumpinee champion in 122 lbs, Thailand champion in 122 lbs), Denthoranee Nakhonthong Park View (Lumpinee champion in 122 lbs), Kongpipop Petchyindee (Lumpinee champion in 126 lbs, Thailand champion in 126 lbs, WBC world champion in 135 lbs) (Victory by KO), Nungubon Sitlerchai (Lumpinee champion in 105 lbs, 112 lbs, 115 lbs and 118 lbs) (Victory by KO), Bovy Sor Udomson (Radja champion, Thailand champion, WMC world champion) (Victory by TKO) !
On February 5, 2003, in the stadium of Radja, Anuwat (22 years old) met Muangfalek Kiatvichian (32 years old) for the title of Radja in 126 lbs. Muangfalek (Radja Champion in 126 lbs) was a very powerful technician with his fists, he beat stars of the 90s such as Kaensak Sor Ploenchit, Singdam Or Ukrit and Silapathai Jocky Gym.
Anuwat beat Muangfalek on points and hung Radja’s belt on his waist in 126 lbs. Six months later, Anuwat and Muangfalek met for a rematch with Anuwat’s Radja belt on the game. Anuwat knocked out Muangfalek in the second round!
That same year, in the stadium of Radja, Anuwat achieved a great performance by beating by KO, in the third round, with a dazzling right hook, the superstar of the moment, Singdam Kiatmuu 9.
Singdam (Lumpinee champion in 130 lbs, 135 lbs and 140 lbs, Thailand champion in 126 lbs, 130 lbs and 135 lbs) had just been voted “Best Boxer of the Year 2002” by The Sports Writers Association of Thailand. He went on to win the “Best Boxer of the Year 2003” trophy from The Sports Authority of Thailand.
Anuwat and Singdam met again in 2004 in Lumpinee stadium and Anuwat again knocked out Singdam in the third round!
On March 27, 2004, in the stadium of Omnoi, Anuwat beat Duwa Khong Udom and won the famous Isuzu tournament in 126 lbs. In this same match, he also conquered the belt of the stadium of Omnoi in 126 lbs.
For the qualifying matches of the tournament, Anuwat had beaten by KO Ronachai Naratrikoon, Sakornphet Nakhonthong Park View and on points, Sayannoi Kiatpraphat.
In 2004, Anuwat won 7 matches including 5 victories by KO and he only lost on points against Saenchoenglek Jirakriengkrai.
On May 6, 2005, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Anuwat was challenged by the reigning Lumpinee champion in 126 lbs, Nopparat Kiatkamthorn.
Nopparat (Lumpinee champion in 126 lbs and 130 lbs, Thai champion in 130 lbs, S1 world champion in 140 lbs and 160 lbs), had won his Lumpinee belt against the star Kongpipop Petchyindee.
Anuwat had already beaten Nopparat by KO in the 1st round in 2003. For this revenge match, the belt of Radja in 126 lbs of Anuwat was also put into play in the stadium of Lumpinee. A shock match between the reigning Lumpinee champion and the reigning Radja champion.
Anuwat executed Nopparat in the first round after one minute and 50 seconds. «The Iron Hands» has become holder of the belts of the two largest stadiums in Bangkok!
In 2005, Anuwat also defeated the ring legends Lerdsila Chumpairtour (Radja champion in 115 lbs, in 118 lbs and 122 lbs), Wuttidet Lookprabat (Omnoi champion in 118 lbs, Thailand champion in 122 lbs, Best Boxer of the Year 2007) and Thongchai Tor Silachai (Lumpinee champion in 105 lbs, in 108 lbs, in 112 lbs and 115 lbs, Best boxer of the year 1998 and 2001).
On October 19, 2006, in Radja stadium, Anuwat met Singthongnoi Por Telakun for the title of WBC world champion in 126 lbs. Anuwat and Singthongnoi had already clashed in September for the vacant title of Radja in 126 lbs, the fight ended in a draw between the two champions, neither of the two boxers won the title…
Singthongnoi (Lumpinee Champion in 126 lbs, WMC World Champion in 126 lbs) had just beaten the two great champions Bowee Sor Udomson and Lerdsila Chumpertour. Anuwat had a great match, he knocked out Singthongnoi in the third round and he became WBC world champion!
Anuwat unfortunately lost his WBC title, two years later, against the great champion Jomthong Chuwathana (Radja champion in 118 lbs, 126 lbs, 130 lbs and 147 lbs, WBC world champion in 126 lbs and 135 lbs, Best Boxer of the Year 2006). Jomthong also beat Anuwat for the Radja title in 126 lbs…
On August 22, 2008, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Anuwat again won a world title. He performed a superb match and beat Santiphap Situbon (Lumpinee champion, WBC World champion) for the WPMF world belt in 126 lbs.
Two months later, Anuwat fought in Holland for the WMC world title in 140 lbs (63 Kg 500). Anuwat’s natural category is 122 lbs (55 kg). The Thai has met Dutch hitter Mosab Amrani. Anuwat lost the fight by a medical stop on an elbow opening in the fourth round…
But on March 1, 2009, in Japan, Anuwat won his WPMF title by knocking out Japan’s Shunta Ito in the first round. And on 26 June, in Jamaica, he knocked out solid English champion Liam Harrison (WBC, WMC, WPMF, WAKO World Champion) and won the WMC world title in 135 lbs!
In 2009, Anuwat defeated the great French champion Kamel Jemel (WPKL World champion) in France, the legendary Wuttidet Lookprabat in Japan and Fahmai Skindewgym (TV7 champion in 126 lbs) in Radja Stadium.
On 1 March 2010, «The Iron Hands» won the last title of his career, the Radja belt in 130 lbs. Anuwat beat the young Kompayak Beemdesign.
Anuwat’s exceptional fighting spirit and innate punch have made him one of the greatest stars of the 2000s. He is one of the best champions in the history of Muay Thai!
After his fabulous career, Anuwat taught a little Muay Thai in camps in Thailand and for some time in China in Shanghai.
Anuwat married and had two children. His family moved to Don Sak in Surat Thani province in southern Thailand. Thanks to the beautiful purses that Anuwat won during his heyday (His biggest purse was 500,000 baht), together with his wife, they built a rubber palm plantation.
BY SERGE TREFEU