CHRONOLOGY OF FOREIGN CHAMPIONS AT THE BANGKOK RADJA STADIUM
Special report by Serge TREFEU (2023)
Today, it is true that this legendary belt has become a little more accessible than at the time when the first foreigner in history, the Japanese Toshio Fujiwara, conquered it in the 1970s.
During the 80s, 90s and 2000s, it was still very difficult for a foreign fighter to beat a Thai Radja champion in his stronghold in Bangkok.
The era of invincible champions in Thailand began to end in the 2010s. Then, the physiognomy of this sport changed completely in Thailand in the 2020s, especially after the Covid pandemic. Now, the foreign fighters manage to compete with the Thai champions until they defeat them in their own stadium.
It is true that Thai promoters, as a good businessman, also felt the vein by offering more often to foreign boxers the opportunity to fight for a title of a big stadium of Bangkok…
From January 2023 to October 2023, four Radja stadium titles have already been won by foreign champions, never seen !
The first non-Thai to win a belt in a major Thai stadium was the legendary Japanese Toshio Fujiwara (141 fights, 126 victories including 104 victories by KO) from the famous Mejiro Gym club in Tokyo. An exceptional fighter, he faced and defeated the greatest Thai champions at home such as Rungnapa Sitsomsak, Charanpon Sotai, Pud Pad Noi, Siri Monkon Ruksilapat.
On March 18, 1978, in Japan, Toshio Fujiwara faced the reigning Radja champion, Thai Mongsawan Ruk Changmai. This is the first time that a Radja stadium belt was put into play outside Thailand.
Toshio Fujiwara beat Mongsawan Ruk Changmai by knockout for the Radja title in 135 lbs and thus became the first foreigner to win a Ratchadamnoen stadium belt.
On June 7, 1978, in Bangkok, in the Radja stadium, Toshio Fujiwara defended his Radja title against the Thai Sepree Kiatsompop who also put his title on the line, the Lumpinee stadium belt in 135 lbs. Toshio Fujiwara lost on points and Sepree Kiatsompop became champion of Radja and Lumpinee in 135 lbs.
On December 3, 2000, at the Radja stadium in Bangkok, Hitoshi Ogasawara beat the Thai Densuki Amachawila by knockout in the first round and won the title of champion of the Radja stadium in 154 lbs.
On July 28, 2001, at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Hitoshi lost his title for the first defense of his belt, he was beaten by the Thai Chaowalit Jockygym.
On January 21, 2001, Kozo Takeda, at Korakuen Hall, in Tokyo, defeated the Thai Chalermdam Sittratlaghan by knockout in the second round and won the Radja title in 147 lbs. Kozo lost his title in his first defense. In Japan, he was beaten by the Thai Charnobit Kyattubon Ubon on September 16, 2001.
On October 2, 2011, in Japan, at Korakuen Hall, in Tokyo, Hiroki Ishii won the Radja belt in 140 lbs against the Thai Aphisak KT Gym, Hiroki twice victoriously defended his Radja belt in – 63 Kg 500 in Japan . On March 11, 2012, he beat the Thai Kenfern Por Puan Chong on points and on September 15, 2012, he knocked out the Thai Prainoi Por Pao In in the first round. Hiroki lost his Radja belt on March 10, 2013. In Japan, he was beaten by knockout in the fourth round by Thai puncher Ekpikhat Mor Krungthep Thonburi.
On July 4, 2013, after failing to win the Radja title in 154 lbs against Khanongsuk Chuwattana in 2012, the Brazilian Jose Mendonca achieved the feat of winning the Radja title in 147 lbs against Pechthongkhan Or Sanitphan. He became the first Westerner to win a Ratchadamnoen belt.
A title that he defended victoriously three times, in 2014 and 2015, twice against Thai champions, notably against the Radja champion in 154 lbs Nawee Eagle Muay Thai, on June 28, 2015 and once in Japan against the Japanese Tanaka Hideya, September 28, 2014. The Brazilian fought in Thailand under the name Jose Ingramgym, the name of his adopted camp.
On June 1, 2016, in Japan, at Korakuen Hall, in Tokyo, Takuya “T-98” Imamura won the Radja belt in 154 lbs against the Thai Nawee Eagle Muay, a belt that he lost a month later in Thailand for revenge against the Thai.
The great champion Youssef Boughanem made Muay Thai history by winning the Radja title in 160 lbs. On August 31, 2016, he became the first European champion to win this title. The Moroccan-Belgian champion beat Komphetlek Lookprabat by KO, thus securing a second belt in a large Bangkok stadium after winning that of the Omnoi stadium in 2015. Youssef Boughanem victoriously defended his Radja title on February 26, 2018 at the stadium of Radja where he beat the Thai Noppakao Sairiruck by KO. Youssef Boughanem, in 2018, was also Lumpinee stadium champion in 160 lbs against Talaytong Sor Thanaphet.
In Tokyo, on October 23, 2016, the Japanese Genji Umeno, beat, for the title of Ratchadamnoen champion in 135 lbs, the puncher Yodlekpet Or Pitisak who held the belt (Yodlekpet had beaten by KO Genji Umeno in the Radja stadium on the 23rd December 2015). The Japanese lost his title on May 17, 2017, at the Radja stadium, he was beaten by the Thai Sakmongkol Sor Sommai.
On February 23, 2017, during the Best Of Siam 10 show, at the Radja stadium, the great French champion Fabio Pinca beat Manaowan Sitsongpeenong for the Radja belt in 147 lbs, he became the first Frenchman in history to win this single title. The young Manaowan Sitsongpeenong won the Radja belt by beating the Frenchman Aziz Hlali.
On December 9, 2018, in Japan, in Yokohama, the phenomenal Japanese Nadaka Yoshinari beat the Thai Hercules Phetsimuu for the Radja title in 105 lbs. Nadaka Yoshinari also won the Lumpinee stadium belt in 105 lbs, in Japan, in 2019, against Thai Singdam Kafaefogus.
On September 9, 2019, in Bangkok, at the Radja stadium, the Japanese Ryuya Okuwaki (from the same gym as the prodigy Nadaka Yoshinari) took the Radja belt in 105 lbs against the Thai Mungkornyok Anny Muay Thai. Ryuya Okuwaki then won the Thailand championship belt in 112 lbs by defeating Superchamp Woody Chonburi on August 14, 2023 in Pathum Thani, Thailand.
On November 28, 2019, at the Radja stadium in Bangkok, after failing in 2015 for the Radja title, the Japanese Shinya Ishige, at 40 years old, beat the Thai Siangchai PLS Gym by KO for the Radja title in 160 lbs.
On June 1, 2022, at the Radja stadium, Swiss champion Dani Rodriguez defeated Thai Saenpon Petchphachara for the Radja title in 154 lbs. He became the first Swiss fighter to win this fabulous title and the third European in the world to win this prestigious belt. Dani Rodriguez defended his title victoriously against the formidable Yodwicha Por Boonsit on December 23, 2022.
On April 15, 2023, at the Radja stadium, the Iranian champion Sajad Sattari of Team Venum Gym won the Radja belt in 147 lbs against the Thai Yodkhunpon Moothong Academy. Sajad Sattari is the first fighter from the Middle East to win a title from a major stadium in Bangkok.
The Japanese Nadaka Yoshinari once again conquered the Radja belt, on July 9, 2023, in Tokyo, he defeated the Thai Waewaw Wor Klinpathum for the Radja title in 112 lbs. He brilliantly defended his title against Rungwittaya Lookchaomaesaitong whom he beat by KO, on August 12, 2023, in Bangkok, at the Radja stadium.
On July 30, 2023, at the Ratchadamnoen stadium, the Frenchman Isaac Mohamed aka Petchnung Petchmuaythai made history by being the first foreigner, at the age of only 17 years, who won a belt from a major Bangkok stadium.
Petchnung Petchmuaythai won the famous Radja belt in the 108 lbs category by beating Phetphasak Sor Chalasep (17 years old). Isaac Mohamed was elected “Best fighter of the month of July 2023” in the Radja stadium. He is the second Frenchman, and the youngest foreign champion in history, to have won this renowned Radja title.
On September 23, 2023, at the Radja stadium, the Brazilian Emerson Bento won the Radja belt in 160 lbs by beating the Thai of Japanese origin Beckham Bigwin Champion Gym on points. Emerson is the second Brazilian to win the Radja title.
On November 4, 2023, the RWS show (Rajadamnern World Series) will organize, in the Radja stadium, a Radja stadium title in 147 lbs (Belt of the Iranian Sajad Sattari left vacant) between the Turkish Erdem Taha Dinzer and the Italian Ruben Lapira. This is the first time that a Radja stadium belt will be put into play between two foreigners…
In 2018, for the first time in the history of Muay Thai, a belt of a large stadium in Bangkok was put into play between two foreigners. On February 27, 2018, at the Lumpinee stadium in Bangkok, Frenchman Rafi Bohic defended his Lumpinee belt in 147 lbs against Frenchman Dylan Salvador (Rafi Bohic’s KO victory).
In October 2023, for the first time in 78 years, the Radja stadium organized a women’s ranking for the Radja belt (category in 118 lbs), two foreign women’s champions, Slovak champions Monika Chochlikova and Turkish Sevgi Venum Muay Thai, are already in the Top 5 of the ranking for the Radja title. A title that will certainly be contested in December 2023.
There may soon be, for the first time in history, a foreign woman champion of one of the most prestigious stadiums of Muay Thai of Bangkok.
The revolution of the Rajadamnern Stadium is underway!