BOONLAY SOR THANIKUL
« THE TECHNICAL ENGINEER »
Boonlay whose real name is Chaïchane Ramoon was born on November 16, 1970 in a small village near the town of Chachoengsao (Eastern Region). The Ramoon family had three children, two boys and a girl. Chaïchane had a twin brother.
Chaïchane’s parents were very poor, so the father taught his two boys boxing so that they could have a better future. Chaïchane and his brother started learning Muay Thai really early, at the age of 10. Their father made them fight throughout the region of Chachoengsao, an area that has produced many boxing champions, the best known are Samart Payakaroon and Kongtoranee Payakaroon.
Chaïchane and his brother then finished their training in a small camp near their home, the Sitmabon Gym. They did a lot of fighting for this camp. The Nakmuay twins are spotted by a headhunter from Bangkok who brings them, around the age of 14, to one of Bangkok’s largest camps, the Sor Ploenchit Gym.
The two young boxers adopt the fighter name of “Wangyu Sor Ploenchit” (For the young Chaïchane) and “Pheonlong Sor Ploenchit“.
Sor Ploenchit Gym belonged to millionaire Mr. Satiyan, it was a lavish boxing camp, one of the most beautiful and luxurious in the country. At that time, Sor Ploenchit included the great champions Manasak Sor Ploenchit (Radja Champion), Warunee Sor Ploenchit (Radja Champion), Saen Sor Ploenchit (WBA Boxing World Champion), Chakphetnoi Sor Ploenchit (Radja Champion) and the young Kaensak Sor Ploenchit who later became a big star of the rings by being elected « Best boxer of the year in 1989 and in 1990 », and by winning the belt of the stadiums of Radja and Lumpinee.
From 1984 to 1986, Wangyu and Pheonlong fought for the Sor Ploenchit Gym camp.
Wangyu has beaten champions like Sirimongkol Kongkoheng, Colalek Sor Thanikul, Chaiyo Sor Jitpattana, Wanmichai Kietimanu and Nuengthoranee Petchyindee (Chatchai Sasakul) in the 100 lbs and 108 lbs category.
At the age of 16, the twin boxers were bought by another big camp in Bangkok, the Sor Thanikul Gym. Officially, they have been sold to Sor Thanikul Gym. But unofficially, the twins were reportedly given as a gift to camp owner Sor Thanikul to clear a gambling debt…
The twins take the fighter name of “Boonlay Sor Thanikul” and “Boonlug Sor Thanikul“. Boon Lay (Pronounced “Boun Laï” Who has a lot of merit) and Boon Lug (Pronounced “Boun Leung”, who dares the path of merit).
Boon “บุญ” in Thai means “Merit”. The notion of “Merit” in Buddhism is very important. Indeed, one of the first actions that a good Buddhist practitioner learns to develop is generosity. Because generosity generates merits. In Buddhism, every beneficial and positive act enables the disciple to progress in his spiritual path. Thai practitioners are therefore in constant search of “Merit”.
This name “Boon” was chosen for example for the famous brand of authentic Muay Thai equipment “Boon Sport”. Boon Sport has been around for twenty years and its main store is located in the On Nut district of Bangkok.
Boonlay and Boonlug then spent their entire careers for Sor Thanikul Gym.
Sor Thanikul Gym was one of the most prestigious boxing camps in the history of Muay Thai in Thailand. This camp was a real champion factory which produced around twenty champions from Lumpinee and Radja!
The camp was located in Bangkok in the district of Prakanong at Sukhumvit Road at the end of Soi 93. The infrastructure of the camp was not extremely big but in the heyday of Sor Thanikul there were more than fifty boxers who trained on a daily basis. This camp was created in 1977 by the sulphurous businessman Kleo Thanikul. Kleo Thanikul is considered a bit like the father of boxing in Thailand as he was one of the country’s first and most powerful promoters. An important promoter in Thai boxing but also in Boxing, he has organized many events in these two disciplines.
But Kleo Thanikul was also the biggest godfather of the Thai mafia in Bangkok, he reigned over the entire capital of Thailand. In the 80s, bloody wars occurred between mafia rivals, sometimes, the theater of these deadly tragedies happened in the very enclosure of the stadium Lumpinee and the stadium of Radja, the promoter Kleo Thanikul was often involved in these assassinations.
Kleo Thanikul was executed on April 5, 1991. On Pinklao Nakhon Chaisi road, in Sam Phran near Bangkok. His son continued to direct the Sor Thanikul Gym until the early 2000s…
Sor Thanikul Gym has produced a lot of champions such as Sombat Sor Thanikul (Lumpinee Champion), Samingnoi Sor Thanikul (Radja Champion), Banklanoi Sor Thanikul (Lumpinee Champion), Lom Issan Sor Thanikul (Radja and Lumpinee Champion), Prathet Sor Thanikul (Radja Champion), Praptoranee Sor Thanikul (Lumpinee Champion), Khomkiat Sor Thanikul (N ° 1 Radja), Kompetch Sor Thanikul (N ° 1 Radja), Rajabut Sor Thanikul (N ° 1 Radja), Saohin Sor Thanikul (PABA Champion), Youssop Sor Thanikul (N ° 1 of Lumpinee, World Champion), Daris Sor Thanikul (World Champion), Kitti Sor Thanikul (World Champion). Also, the legendary Diesel Noi remained almost 5 years in Sor Thanikul, he carried out great fights under the name of Diesel Noi Sor Thanikul.
The most famous of the fighters of Sor Thanikul Gym were without question the twins Boonlay and Boonlug.
Boonlug was a great champion, he did not win a stadium belt like his brother Boonlay but he was classified for a long time in the top 5 of Lumpinee and Radja. The two twins often fought in the same big events of the stadiums of Lumpinee and Radja.
Boonlug was a technical and powerful boxer who carried out big battles against such champions as Prayut Na Phinton (Victory by TKO), Noppadet Narumol (Victory), Chaidej Keatchansing (Defeated by KO), Pongseree “Rambo” Sor Ruamrudee (Victory by TKO), Wangchanoi Sor Palangchai (Loss), Kaona Sor Talingchan (Loss), Padphon Dejritta (Victory), Rainbow Sor Prantalee (Victory), Tanooin Chor Chuchat (Victory by KO), Krirkchai Kaewsamrit (Loss), Dokmaipha Por Pongsawan (Loss), Boonlertlek Sor Nantana (Victory), Saenapa Fairtex (Victory), Singhnoi Sor Prasartporn (Victory), Jatphet Sor Worapin (Victory), Therdkiet Sitepitak (Loss)!
This great champion unfortunately died in a car accident…
Boonlay was nicknamed “Fedlek” (The Steel Twin) by Muay Thai fans. Author of many anthology matches, during his long professional career he made 400 fights for 300 victories, 95 defeats and 5 draws. He first fought for the promoter of Lumpinee Kleo Tanikul then for the great promoter Songchai Ratanasuban.
Boonlay won the Lumpinee belt in 115 lbs against Langsuan Phanyuthapum in 1990 and the Lumpinee belt in 122 lbs against Wangchannoi Sor Palangchai in 1992.
In 1988, Boonlay beat in the stadium of Radja the great champion Daoden Sor Sukkasem, in 1989, he beat stars like Karuhat, Parnpet and Grandprixnoi.
On August 29, 1989, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Boonlay met the superstar of the moment, the virtuoso of the rings, Karuhat Sor Supawan (Lumpinee Champion in 112 lbs and in 122 lbs) nicknamed Aysiya (The wonder boy). Karuhat was then Lumpinee champion in 112 lbs. Boonlay had a great match and beat Karuhat on points. Boonlay and Karuhat have faced each other three times with two wins for Boonlay and one win for Karuhat. During this great show, his brother Boonlug fought against the terror of the rings Pongseree « Rambo » Sor Ruamrudee he beat by technical KO with an opening by poke in the third round!
On Friday October 20, in the stadium of Radja, Boonlay beat the puncher Parnpet Muangsurin nicknamed “Aytat” (The fierce eyes).
On November 7, Boonlay beat Noppadet Naruemon and on December 8, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Boonlay defeated Grandprixnoi Muangchaiyapoom (Lumpinee champion in 118 lbs) by points, in the same event his brother Boonlug won against Noppadet Narumol!
1990 was one of the best years in Boonlay’s career as he won the Lumpinee title in 115 lbs and beat ring legends like Langsuan, Oley and Somrak.
On January 19, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Boonlay met the defending champion of Lumpinee in 115 lbs, the star of the moment, Langsuan Phanyuthapum (Lumpinee champion in 108 lbs, in 112 lbs and in 115 lbs, Best boxer of the year 1987). Boonlay had a great match and defeated Langsuan, he won the title of the famous stadium of Bangkok. Boonlay won his first Lumpinee title, the Lumpinee belt in 115 lbs. On the same event, his brother Boonlug faced puncher Wangchanoi Sor Palangchai who beat him on points.
On February 6, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Boonlay beat the technical Kangwannoi Or Seebualoi (Lumpinee champion in 118 lbs), in the same event, his brother Boonlung lost against the great champion Therdkiet Sitepitak (Lumpinee champion in 122 lbs and in 126 lbs).
On Friday March 2, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Boonlay lost on points against the champion of Lumpinee Kangwannoi Or Seebualoi.
On April 24, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Boonlay had a great match against the talented Oley Kiatoneway from the famous Kiatbanchong camp. The young Oley, who was 18 years old, was ranked N° 1 in the stadium of Lumpinee in 115 lbs. This wonder boy boxing ring challenged Boonlay for the Lumpinee title in 115 lbs. Boonlay won the fight by beating Oley on points and kept his Lumpinee belt!
The two fighters met on June 8 in the stadium of Lumpinee for a match with the Lumpinee belt again in 115 lbs at stake. For this rematch, Oley defeated Boonlay on points. At just 18 years old, Oley became Lumpinee champion in 115 lbs!
In July, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Boonlay lost against the solid Dokmaypa Por Pongsawan (Lumpinee Champion in 112 lbs and in 115 lbs).
On Tuesday August 7th, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Boonlay faced the rising star of the moment, the genius of the rings, Pimhiranlek Sithiran better known under the name of Somrak Kamsing. Somrak was N° 1 of the big stadiums of Bangkok and favorite for this match, on his last 9 fights, Somrak had won 8 matches, he had beaten the best Thanongdejkiat Phayathai, Chatchainoi Chowraiaoy, Sakchai Wongwianyai, Sukkasem Detchaowit, Samernoi Tor Boonlert, Denneua Denmolee, Peemai Or Yutthanakorn, Namkabuan Nongkeephahuyut, only, Rungroj Singhlanthong had beaten Somrak on points.
Boonlay and Somrak had a magnificent fight, these two technicians mastered each other in turn during the five rounds of a very technical and tactical match. The decision for the judges was difficult and it was Boonlay who was declared the winner of this superb fight!
Boonlay and Somrak have faced each other four times, always in technical and exciting matches, Boonlay beat Somrak once, Somrak won twice and they drew.
On Wednesday September 19, in the stadium of Radja, Boonlay defeated the powerful Boonam Chor Waikul (Radja Champion in 112 lbs, in 115 lbs and in 118 lbs).
On October 26, in the stadium of Lumpinee, it was the great rematch between the two Yods (Champion at the top) of the year. Boonlay found Somrak who, this time, beat him on points.
In 1991, on January 20, at the Pantip Plaza Boxing Stadium, Boonlay lost in points to Panomrung Sit Sor Wor Por.
On March 22, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Boonlay faced the little brother of the great champion Jareonthong, Samranthong Kietbanchong and beat him.
In Samut Songkhram, at Central Stadium Boxing Stadium, on April 7, Boonlay defeated Wanghin Por Chaiwat.
On May 17th, the third confrontation between Boonlay and Somrak Kamsing took place in the stadium of Lumpinee. After a great fight, the two champions ended in a draw.
Boonlay and Somrak met on June 11 in the stadium of Lumpinee. And Somrak won their fourth clash.
On June 28, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Boonlay beat Samranthong Kietbanchong again.
On July 30, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Boonlay lost on points against Jirasak Keatsamanwit.
On Tuesday September 3, in the stadium of Lumpinee, a big event took place with in main match, the clash between the young prodigy Jongsanan Fairtex (18 years old) and Boonlay (21 years old). Jongsanan nicknamed “Manut” (The wooden man) was a tough boxer, a formidable puncher who was later Lumpinee champion in 135 lbs and several times world champion. Boonlay and Jongsanan had a remarkable fight that ended in a draw.
On November 26, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Boonlay defeated Tanooin Chor Chuchat (Lumpinee champion in 112 lbs), a champion that his brother Boonlug had beaten by KO.
On October 25, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Boonlay lost in points against the terrible Muay Khao (Strong in knees) Cherry Sor Wanich (Lumpinee champion in 130 lbs) who was nicknamed Khun Khao Chalam Dam (The knee of the black shark ). Boonlay and Cherry faced off twice with one win each.
On December 27, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Boonlay defeated in points the formidable puncher Superlek Sor Isaan (Lumpinee champion in 122 lbs and in 126 lbs) who had beaten by KO Cherry Sor Wanich, a few months before!
1992 was an exceptional year in the career of Boonlay who won the Lumpinee belt in 122 lbs and beat the immense champions Wangchanoi, Namkabuan, Jongsanan, Oley, Nungubon and Chamophet!
On January 31, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Boonlay challenged the defending champion of Lumpinee in the category of 122 lbs, Wangchannoi Sor Palangchai nicknamed “Aymat 33 Wee” (The dazzling punch in 33 seconds). Wangchannoi (Lumpinee champion in 118 lbs and in 122 lbs, Best boxer of the year 1993) was at that time at the top of his career, he had beaten for the Lumpinee belt in 122 lbs Superlek Sor Isaan, knocked out the star Namkabuan Nongkee Pahuyut in the 1st round, beat the lord of the rings Samart Payakaroon and the great champions Nampon Nongkee Pahuyut, Karuhat Sor Supawan and Oley Kiatoneway. The Lumpinee belt of Wangchannoi was put into play for this great fight between Yod (Champion at the top). Boonlay defeated Wangchannoi and won his second Lumpinee stadium title, the Lumpinee belt in 122 lbs!
In February, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Boonlay beat another star of the rings, the super Fimeuu Namkabuan Nongkee Pahuyut nicknamed “The ring genius”, this wonder boy who had just turned 19 years on February 2 was Lumpinee champion in 130 lbs, he had won the Lumpinee belt in 130 lbs six months earlier by beating Cherry Sor Wanich. The fight was in the 126 lbs category and Boonlay won the match on points!
In March, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Boonlay lost against the ferocious Muay Bouk (Fighter who advances) Nuathoranee Thongracha nicknamed “Ay Ret Dong” (The powerful rhinoceros).
On May 29, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Boonlay found Jongsanan, they again made a brilliant match and Boonlay beat Jongsanan on points.
On Tuesday June 30, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Boonlay took his revenge by beating Oley Kiatoneway on points.
Three weeks later, on Tuesday July 21, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Boonlay faced the super champion Nungubon Sitlerchai. Nungubon had won the Lumpinee belt in 105 lbs and 112 lbs and beaten by KO Langsuan Phanyuthapum. He had a phenomenal strike, especially with his left leg. Nungubon hurt Boonlay very badly but this great Fimeuu controlled Nungubon’s violent attacks and won a great victory in points!
On Friday September 11, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Nuathoranee Thongracha again beat Boonlay.
On October 13, in the stadium of Lumpinee, the young Oley Kiatonway tried to steal his belt from Lumpinee in 122 lbs at Boonlay. Boonlay kept his property by winning the match on points!
On November 20, the return match between the two stars Boonlay and Namkabuan took place in the stadium of Lumpinee. And this time, Namkabuan won the fight…
For his last match of the year, Boonlay had a fight with the ring legend, the experienced Chamophet Ha Phalang (5 belts from Radja, 4 belts from Lumpinee, Best boxer of the year 1985). The fight took place in the stronghold of Chamophet, in the stadium of Radja, on Wednesday, December 30. Chamophet had already conquered three belts from Radja, in 104 lbs in 1980, in 122 lbs in 1989 and in 126 lbs in 1990. Chamophet lost in points against “Fedlek”!
The year 1993 was hard for the Sor Thanikul fighter because he lost his Lumpinee belt and was knocked out by Rittichai.
On February 15, in the stadium of Radja, Boonlay and Superlek Sor Isaan met. The two champions drew.
On Tuesday April 6, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Boonlay made a big performance by beating the star of the moment, the champion Jaroensap Kiatbanchong (Lumpinee Champion in 108 lbs and in 112 lbs) who had just been elected “Best boxer of the ‘year 1992’!
On May 7, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Boonlay again beat the genius of the rings, Karuhat Sor Supawan.
On July 11, in a big show organized by the promoter Songchai Ratanasuban in Nakhon Sawan province, Boonlay found Oley Kiatonway. After a very technical fight, Oley defeated Boonlay on points.
On Tuesday, August 31, a shock match took place in the stadium of Lumpinee between the rising star Chatchai Phaiseethong and the champion of Lumpinee Boonlay. Chatchai was nicknamed “Samart 2” (In reference to the legendary Samart Payakaroon), Chatchai was training at the Sityodtong camp, it was the little protege of Master Yodtong who was proud of his new ring prodigy. Team Sityodtong challenged Team Sor Thanikul, two of the best schools in the country. These are two Fimeuu at the top of their art who faced each other in full Lumpinee stadium, Boonlay (23 years old) and Chatchai (19 years old). Boonlay defended his Lumpinee belt in 122 lbs. The match was very close, the judges gave Chatchai the winner of this exceptional technical match. Chatchai won the Lumpinee title in 122 lbs!
On October 22, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Boonlay had a terrible match against Rittichai Lookchaomaesaithong who knocked him out in the second round with a superb Tei Kan Kho Kwaa (High Kick right). This was the first knockout of Boonlay in his career…
In 1994, Boonlay still made great matches, he notably beat twice by KO the young champion Lamnamoon and took his revenge on Chatchai.
On January 7, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Boonlay beat Ponpetch Naratreekul nicknamed Black Superman.
Boonlay then defeated technician Oley Kiatonway again.
On Friday March 25, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Boonlay met the pearl of the year, Lamnamoon Sor Sumalee who was 20 years old. The year before, Lamnamoon had won the Lumpinee belt in 115 lbs by beating the fearsome Jaroensap Kietbanchong (Lamnamoon later won the Lumpinee belt in 126 lbs in 1996 and the Lumpinee belt in 130 lbs in 1997). Lamnamoon was nicknamed “Khun Khao Weetan” (The Vampire Knee), he was a dangerous Muay Khao. Boonlay beat Lamnamoon by KO in the second round with a right uppercut followed by a left hook!
On April 29, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Boonlay made the rematch against Chatchai Paiseethong and “Fedlek” beat the young champion!
On May 27, in the stadium of Lumpinee, the puncher Wangchannoi Sor Palangchai took his revenge by beating Boonlay.
On August 8, Boonlay beat Lamnamoon Sor Sumalee again by KO, this time in the stadium of Radja. In the third round, Boonlay knocked out Lamnamoon with a stunning combination of right hook, left hook!
The following month, September 28, Boonlay (24) challenged the wonderful champion Silapathai Jockygym (19) in his stronghold of Radja. Silapathai was nicknamed “Jomsopklap” (The fatal back elbow), he had just taken, three months earlier, the belt of Radja in 122 lbs from the legendary Chamophet Ha Phalang. Silapathai also won the Radja title in 108 lbs in 1991. Boonlay lost hard by knockout against the superb technician Silapathai. In the second round, Boonlay was surprised by a lightning Tei Kan Ko Kwaa (High Kick right), groggy, he did not recover and was knocked out by a series with the fists of Silapathai…
After 1994, Boonlay fought much less, he, among other things, made a great match in 1995 against Karuhat Sor Supawan with the Lumpinee belt in 122 lbs at stake. Karuhat was Lumpinee champion in 122 lbs, a title he had just won against Meechok Sor Ploenchit. Karuhat retained his title by beating Boonlay on points…
Boonlay Sor Thanikul was an exceptional technician, one of the best of his generation, he was one of the legends of the “Golden Age” of Muay Thai in Thailand. In the 90s, this immense champion, who received purses of 200,000 baht, beat all the stars of his time such as Jongsanan Fairtex, Chatchai Paiseethong, Karuhat Sor Supawan, Lamnamoon Sor Sumalee (KO), Superlek Sor Isaan, Oley Kiatoneway, Chamophet Ha Phalang, Jaroensap Kiatbanchong, Langsuan Phanyutaphum, Wangchannoi Sor Palangchai, Cherry Sor Wanich, Somrak Kamsing, Namkabuan Nongkee Pahuyut, Boonam Chor Waikul, Samranthong Kietbanchong, Nungubon Sitlerchai!
Boonlay, after his career, set up a small boxing camp, Sor Korpilap, in the same district as his former camp, Sor Thanikul Gym, at Soi 93 Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok. This camp, created in 2010, was opened ten years ago.
Today, Khru Boonlay teaches his immense knowledge in the big camps of Bangkok!
BY SERGE TREFEU