“THE PUNCHER OF HELL”
Lakhin whose real name is Wichit Lapmee was born on April 17, 1972 in Khanom, a village near the sea in the province of Nakhon Si Thammarat in southern Thailand.
Wichit’s parents were gardeners who founded a large family of nine children, three boys and six girls. Young Wichit is the only boxer in the Lapmee family, he began his boxing training at the age of 9 years and took the name of fighter Wichit Sakprapai. Wichit discovered boxing when he saw a Southern champion training near his home, his name was Raknarong Kiatmueangkhanom, he was the one who made young Wichit want to practice boxing. Wichit made his first fight in the temporary stadium of Surathani and beat Thammawit Singpakpraek, he won the sum of 100 baht (€2.70).
Wichit was a force of nature, as a child he was already a powerful boxer, at 13 years old he won the Southern Thailand champion belt in the 66 lbs (30 kg) category. Wichit then took the name of “Lakhin (Hard as Stone) Wassantasit” as a fighter.
At 13 years, Lakhin’s parents took him to a small camp in Bangkok to become a great professional boxer, the camp was called the Borkahiwat Gym.
Around the age of 17, Lakhin joined the famous Por Chaiwat camp in Bangkok, Lakhin fought for several years under the colors of Por Chaiwat. The Por Chaiwat camp was created in 1988 by Chaiwat Wutikraisakul and Ping Phuthon, it was located at Soi Pracha Uthit 3 in the district of Huay Kwang. This Bangkok camp had the particularity of having professional boxers who all came from southern Thailand, mainly from the Nakhon Si Thammarat region. In his heyday, the Por Chaiwat included the stars of the rings Wanghin Por Chaiwat (Radja Champion in 108 lbs and 118 lbs), Padphon Dejrittha (Radja Champion in 126 lbs) and Lakhin, as well as great fighters like Arunee Sakyindee, Chatchai Por Chaiwat, Kongnakorn Por Chaiwat, Saenthanong Por Chaiwat and Pudpong Por Chaiwat.
Lakhin also fought during his long career for the Sor Saraythong, Sitkamnanchuchit and CP Gym camps. His coach was notably the famous Kim You (Kim You played the head coach of champion Dida Diafat in the movie “Chookdee”) who was head coach of the renowned Sor Ploenchit camp.
Lakhin made his first fight in a big stadium of Bangkok at 16 years old, in the stadium of Ratchadamnoen. A stadium in which he fought a lot, Lakhin made 60 fights in Radja with 44 victories, 15 defeats and a draw!
Lakhin made his first fight in the stadium of Lumpinee at the age of 20, in this big stadium, he fought there six times with each time large purses of 200,000 baht.
Lakhin carried out in Muay Thai nearly 200 fights. In the big stadiums of the capital, he made 90 fights for 66 victories, 23 defeats and a draw. In Boxing, he has 29 professional fights for 27 victories including 18 won by KO and 2 draws.
Lakhin was one of the greatest punchers of the 90s. With his destructive strike, he executed a lot of opponents by knockout. This formidable “Muay Mat” (Strong in fist) was nicknamed “Mat Phayayom” (The puncher of hell).
Lakhin is one of the few boxers to have beaten the legendary Burlek Pinsinchai by knockout in the first round. Lakhin was a terror of the rings, especially in the stadium of Ratchadamnoen where he won many victories, he was twice elected “Best fighter of the year” of the stadium of Radja in 1989 and in 1991!
Mat Phayayom has beaten great champions such as Wichan Sitchutchoi (KO), Singnoi Sor Prakasan (KO), Saiyoknoi Sakphetarun (KO) (Saiyok Pumpanmuang), Daoden Sor Sakasem (KO), Supernoi Sor Talingchan (KO), Chamnan Saknarin (KO), Dejrit Sor Ploenchit (KO), Denneua Daenmolee (KO), Piteelek Chaiphiphat, Malakeau Sor Thosaphon, Petchalak Sor Wolapith, Chatchainoi Chawraiaoy (KO), Burlek Pinsinchai (KO), Samson Isaan, Jaroensak Kietnakhonechon, Jaroenchai Jor Rachada (KO), Tukatathong Por Pongsawang, Dokmaipha Por Pongsawang!
Lakhin won several important belts, the Radja stadium belt in 115 lbs in 1991, the Isuzu Tournament belt in 115 lbs in 1992, the Omnoi stadium belt in 140 lbs in 2004, the Tam Jai Tournament belt in 140 lbs in 2004 and the WMC World Champion belt in 143 lbs in 2005.
In 1989, the young Lakhin, at 16 years, made his first fight in the stadium of Radja, on Thursday February 9, in the stadium of Radja, he lost by points against Yokpetch Lukprabat. A month before, on January 15, in a temporary boxing ring at the crocodile farm of Samut Prakan (30 km from Bangkok), Lakhin had met the rising star, the super fimeuu Robert Kaennorasing (17 years old) against whom he lost at points. Robert became Radja champion in 105 lbs seven months later and later winner of the Isuzu tournament in 115 lbs, Radja champion in 126 lbs and Radja champion in 130 lbs. Lakhin fought again against Robert on July 8, in the stadium of Radja, and Robert again won the match on points.
On March 23, in the stadium of Radja, Lakhin beat Khwanmueangnoi Kaengharnpitak by points.
On May 18, in the stadium of Radja, Lakhin won by points against Malako Sor Tapsakon.
On July 27, in the stadium of Radja, Lakhin lost on points against Mankong Siasomboon.
On September 7, at the Radja stadium, Lakhin knocked out Mahalap Singchatchawan!
In 1990, Lakhin met, in the stadium of Radja, Kamron Sor Vorapin, Falan Lukprabat and Singnoi Sor Prasatporn, he lost in points against Kamron and Falan and beat Singnoi.
1991 was a great year for the fighter of Nakhon Si Thammarat, Lakhin defeated the legendary Denneua, Burlek and won the title of champion of the stadium of Radja.
In January, in the stadium of Radja, in the fourth round, Lakhin (18 years old) beat by KO the experienced Supernoi Sor Talingchan (Lumpinee Champion in 105 lbs) who was 28 years old!
At the beginning of February, in the stadium of Radja, Lakhin lost on points against Singnoi Sor Prasatporn.
On February 21, in the stadium of Radja, he lost by points against Daonapa Keatsamran.
In March, in the stadium of Radja, Lakhin beat by KO in the second round Chamnan Saknarin.
The following month, in the stadium of Radja, he lost in points again against the champion Kamron Sor Vorapin.
In May, in the stadium of Radja, Lakhin defeated the solid Daoden Sor Sukkasem in the third round!
On 26 June, at the Radja stadium, Lakhin met Pitilek Chaipiphat. This fight was the first turn of the famous 115 lbs Isuzu tournament that took place this year in the legendary Ratchadamnoen stadium. This was the third organization of this prestigious tournament, the first two editions had been won by Ratananoy Tanesaringka in 1990 and Robert Kaennorasing in 1991 (March 1991). The protagonists engaged in the Isuzu Tournament N° 3 were Pitilek Chaipiphat, Denneua Denmolee, Dejrit Sor Ploenchit, Seesod Keatchidchanok, Burlek Pinsinchai, Singnoi Sor Prasatporn and Lakhin. For his first match of the Isuzu Tournament, Lakhin defeated Pitilek Chaipiphat on points.
A month later, at the Radja stadium, for the second match of the Isuzu tournament, Lakhin (19 years) faced the legendary Burlek Pinsinchai (Lumpinee champion in 112 lbs, Thai champion in 1983 and 1984). Burlek, who was 27 years old, was the favourite in this high-level tournament because he had a great experience in the ring and a remarkable fighting technique. Burlek has beaten great champions like Pareuhatlek Sitchuchong, Dokmaipha Por Pongsawang, Thukatathong Por Pongsawang (KO) and he is one of the few to have beaten the terrible puncher Veerapol Sahaprom three times. Young Lakhin knocked out star Burlek Pinsinchai in the first round!
Lakhin then faced in the stadium of Radja, still for the Isuzu tournament, the young Fimeuu Dejrit Sor Ploenchit. Lakhin struck down Dejrit in the fourth round.
For his last fight in 1991, Lakhin (19 years) challenged the great champion Denneua Denmolee who was 26 years old. The match was still for the Isuzu tournament in the stadium of Radja. Denneua was also one of the favorites for this tournament, he had already won three belts from the big stadiums of Bangkok, the Lumpinee belt in 105 lbs, in 1984, at only 18 years old, the Radja belt in 112 lbs in 1989 and the Radja belt in 115 lbs in 1990. In addition to the Isuzu tournament, Denneua defended his Radja title in 115 lbs for this explosive meeting between the technical Denmolee and the puncher Lakhin. Lakhin was classified N° 3 of the stadium of Radja in 115 lbs, N° 2 was Singnoi Sor Prasatporn and N° 1 the puncher Veerapol Sahaprom.
Mat Phayayom knocked out Denneua in the second round and won his first title of a big stadium in Bangkok, the Radja belt in 115 lbs!
1992 was another exceptional year for puncher Lakhin because he won the famous Isuzu tournament. That year, he also beat the biggest puncher of the moment, Samson Isaan!
On January 23, in the stadium of Radja, Lakhin beat by KO, in the third round, Singnoi Sor Prasatporn (N° 2 of Radja). In this meeting Lakhin had put his Radja belt in 115 lbs in play, the match also counted for the Isuzu tournament. Lakhin kept his Radja belt and won his Isuzu tournament match.
On Thursday 19 March, at the Radja stadium, it was the grand final of the Isuzu tournament. The two finalists were Lakhin and Burlek, the two champions came together for the rematch with the Radja belt in 115 lbs of Lakhin in play. Despite losing by a knockout to Lakhin, Burlek made an excellent performance in the Isuzu tournament, beating on points Denneua Denmolee, Dejrit Sor Ploenchit and by KO Seesod Keatchidchanok. The final show of the Isuzu tournament was grandiose, Lakhin and Burlek, seated on bamboo chairs, like princes of Muay Thai, were transported by a dozen people to the center of the ring. The match between puncher Lakhin and technician Burlek was sumptuous, Lakhin defeated the old lion of rings Burlek. The child of Nakhon Si Thammarat became the third champion in the history of the Isuzu Tournament, he pocketed the staggering sum of one million baht!
On April 29, in the stadium of Radja, the young prodigy Samson Isaan (18 years old) challenged Lakhin (19 years old). Samson was elected “Best boxer of the year” in 1991, he won the Lumpinee belt in 118 lbs by knocking out star Saenklay Sitkhruot on November 29, 1991. Samson “The Bull of Roi Et” Isaan was one of the biggest punchers in the history of Muay Thai. Samson had just beaten by KO, October 30, 1991, in the stadium of Radja, the puncher Veeraphol “Death Mask” Sahaprom. Samson beat the champions by knockout Keawmorakot Praynan, Jaroensak Kietnakhonechon, Pepsi Piyakphan, Kraiwanoi Sitkhruot, and then made a great career in Boxing (World champion in Boxing in 1994, undefeated in Boxing with 43 fights including 36 victories by KO). The battle of “Muay Mat” (Strong in fist) was fierce between the two biggest punchers of the 90s and it was Samson who won the match on points.
The revenge between the two bulls of the rings took place on August 4 at the stadium of Lumpinee. The match was even more violent, at the end of the second round, Lakhin hit Samson with an uppercut that sent him downed. Samson was well groggy, he was counted by the referee, at the time of resuming the fight, the bell rang the end of the round.
Then, Lakhin and Samson surrendered blow for blow in each round of the fight until the end of the match, Samson finished the lead in blood. Lakhin won by points in this fabulous fight!
On September 28, at the Radja stadium, the two champions met for the third time. Lakhin defended his belt from Radja in 115 lbs for this third match. They had a terrible confrontation again. In the third round, Lakhin was badly opened to the left arcade following violent elbows sent by Samson.
Lakhin tried to KO Samson with his powerful punches. But the Bull of Roi Et valiantly resisted until the end of the last round. Samson won the match on points and took the belt from Radja to Lakhin!
On June 2, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Lakhin made a big match against Chatchainoi Chawraiaoy, he made Chatchainoi count and finally beat him by KO in the fourth round.
On June 29, in the stadium of Radja, Lakhin faced the great champion Jaroensak Kietnakhonechon (Radja champion in 118 lbs, Lumpinee champion in 118 lbs). Jaroensak nicknamed “Chalamchon” (The Chonburi shark) was in great shape, three months before, on March 31, he had beaten the superstar Samson Isaan and had won his Lumpinee title in 118 lbs. Lakhin defeated Jaroensak on points.
On November 18, in the stadium of Radja, Lakhin met Weechan Sitchuchon. Lakhin lost the first rounds on points in this match against the Fimeuu Weechan Sitchuchon. At the start of the fourth round, Lakhin made a dazzling combination, left hook to the body followed by a right hook to the chin which knocked out more of account Weechan!
On December 5, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Lakhin made a violent fight against the durable boxer Tukatathong Por Pongsawang (Lumpinee champion in 108 lbs), Lakhin made Tukatathong count four times who resisted until the end of the match, he did not fall KO face of Lakhin’s powerful blows who won the match on points.
In 1993, Lakhin still made great fights in Muay Thai before starting a new career in Boxing, he twice beat the formidable champion Dokmaipha and made good matches against the stars of the rings Jaroensap and Silapathai.
On Friday January 8, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Lakhin beat the bull Dokmaipha Por Pongsawang (Lumpinee champion), Dokmaipha was the brother of the champions Dedduang and Tukkatatong, the famous three brothers of the Por Pongsawang Gym. Dokmaipha was a great champion who won the Lumpinee belt in three different categories. He was strong with his fists and especially very powerful with his low kicks, mainly with his low kick left. Dokmaipha was nicknamed “Saytokop” (The Extremely Powerful Left Leg) after sending out of the ring an opponent with a powerful shot from his left shin. Unfortunately, this great champion passed away on October 7, 2020. At the age of 52 years, at the hospital in Kalasin, he went into cardiac arrest after being stung by an unknown insect on his left thigh, his powerful and famous left leg…
Lakhin beat Dokmaipha Por Pongsawang again on points on February 6 in the stadium of Lumpinee.
On March 23, in the stadium of Radja, Lakhin had a magnificent fight against the star Jaroensap Kietbanchong (Lumpinee champion in 108 lbs and in 112 lbs) who had been elected “Best boxer of the year” in 1992. Lakhin has lost in points against the super Fimeuu Jaroensap.
On May 19, at the Radja stadium, Lakhin met the wonder boy Silapathai Jockygym. Silapathai nicknamed “Jomsopklap” (The fatal return poke) and “Jomtip 116” (The 116 fronts kicks) was one of the best technicians of the 1990s. Silapathai was Radja champion in two different categories, in 108 lbs and 122 lbs. It was a complicated match for Lakhin against the eel of the Silapathai rings, Lakhin did not succeed to knock out the king of the Silapathai dodges, he lost the battle to points.
On August 18, in the stadium of Radja, Lakhin beat Muay Khao (Strong in knee) Petchalak Sor Wolapith on points after having made him count twice in the fourth round.
On November 8, Lakhin made his first fight in professional boxing. Hell’s puncher defeated Filipino Joel Junio by knockout. Lakhin stopped his career in Muay Thai to devote himself only to the gentle Art. Until the beginning of the year 1995, he made 10 fights in Boxing with 10 victories including 7 won by knockout and won the OPBF title in bantamweight (118 lbs) against Visuth Chuwatthana.
On May 27, 1995, in a big boxing show organized in the south in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Lakhin challenged the reigning WBA world champion, the puncher of Uttaradit, Daorung Chuwatthana (71 fights, 61 victories of which 36 won by KO). Daorung won the supreme title in 1994 by beating American John Michael Johnson, who held the WBA bantamweight belt. Daorung had successfully defended his trophy against Korean In Shik Go. It was the second defense of his title of world champion against Lakhin. The two champions had a committed and very balanced match, so much so that the judges opted for a draw for this world championship. Lakhin did not lose this great fight but with a draw, Daorung retained his WBA world champion belt…
Lakhin then made 13 fights for 12 victories including 9 won by KO and a draw. He won the PABA bantamweight title against the Mexican Martin Solorio whom he beat by KO in Bangkok. Lakhin has successfully defended his title five times.
Lakhin stopped his career after beating Filipino Joel Junio again by KO on January 18, 1998.
Lakhin became a trainer at a famous tourist camp, WMC Muay Thai Camp. This small camp is located on the famous Koh Samui island in the south, in the heart of the resort town of Lamai Beach. the WMC Muay Thai Camp was created by the former German champion Stephan Fox (World champion, general secretary of IFMA, Vice-president of the WMC federation). Lakhin taught Muay Thai for six years at WMC Muay Thai Camp. Along with Lakhin, at WMC Muay Thai Camp there was also a famous trainer, the legendary Nokweed Dawee (Died in 2016).
In 2004, Lakhin made a shattering come back in Muay Thai. After six years without fighting, he just had a fight in Muay Thai on July 2, 2003 in the stadium of Radja where he defeated the tough Mankong Roylamantaput. The young Mankong, who was 19 years, was two years later Radja champion in 140 lbs, then WMC world champion. Mankong was one of the few boxers to have won twice against the legendary Namsaknoi. He also beat two great foreign champions of the 2000s, the Australian Bruce MacFie and the French Jean-Charles Skarbowsky. Mankong and Chong Skarbowsky have faced each other three times, they made three anthology fights with two wins by points for the Thai and one victory by KO for the French.
Lakhin achieved a big performance in 2004, he arrived in the final of the famous Tam Jai tournament in the category of 140 lbs.
When he ended his career, Lakhin still trained regularly, kept in shape but still gained a lot of weight. Lakhin, who fought between 115 lbs and 118 lbs, returned to the ring to face champions in the category of 140 lbs. Lakhin was the smallest in height of all fighters involved in the Tam Jai tournament in 140 lbs.
Lakhin first beat Robert Por Cherdkiat on points, then, he defeated by KO in the second round Yodkhunsuk Sitkraingkrai. And he again met Robert Por Cherdkiat whom he beat this time by KO in the third round. Mat Phayayom still had lightning in his fists!
The final of the Tam Jai tournament took place in the stadium of Omnoi with also the belt of the stadium of Omnoi in 140 lbs in play. Lakhin, 32 years old, met the rising star of the moment, the young Saiyoknoi Sakchainarong who was 21 years. Saiyoknoi later became a great star under the name of Saiyok Pumpanmuang (Radja champion in 140 lbs, Thailand champion in 147 lbs, Lumpinee champion in 154 lbs, Thai Fight champion, WMC and WMO World champion). Lakhin executed Saiyoknoi in the second round and won the sum of 300,000 baht for his superb victory in the stadium of Omnoi. At 32 years, he became Omnoi stadium champion and winner of the Tam Jai tournament!
On July 14, 2004, in the stadium of Radja, Lakhin met another young rising star of the moment, Yodsaenklai Petchyindee (Fairtex). Yodsaenklai was 19 years old and had already won a Lumpinee belt in 112 lbs. The following year, he won the Lumpinee belt in 147 lbs. Yodsaenklai, nicknamed “The Computer”, became one of Thailand’s biggest stars of the 2000s, winning the title of world champion in five different federations, the Toyota tournament and twice the Thai Fight tournament. The old ring warrior, Lakhin, lost on points to Yodsaenklai. Lakhin fought a second time against Yodsaenklai in the stadium of Radja, on December 23 of the same year. And Lakhin again lost in points against the boxing computer…
Lakhin at 33 years old won a belt of WMC world champion in – 65 Kg. On May 12, 2005, in the stadium of Radja, Lakhin again inflamed the punters with a match of madness against the young champion Jaroenchai Jor Rachada. Jaroenchai was 23 years at the time, later he became Radja champion, Omnoi champion, Thailand champion and WMC World champion. The fight was terrible, Lakhin was very hard hit by the precise pokes of Jaroenchai, the puncher from the south had a bloody face and lost the match on points. But the powerful Lakhin managed to reverse the fight by knocking out Jaroenchai!
On July 25, 2005, in Bangkok, Lakhin fought again in the rules of Boxing in 135 lbs. He beat Filipino Dodie Boy Agrabio on points. Lakhin still made three fights in boxing with three victories including one by KO.
Lakhin had a great career in Boxing with 29 professional fights for 27 victories including 18 won by KO and 2 draws, nobody managed to defeat the puncher of Nakhon Si Thammarat. Lakhin won the PABA and OPBF belts in Boxing and he made a WBA World Championship against defending champion Daorung Chuwattana who retained his belt after a draw!
On 21 January 2013, Lakhin (40 years) come back to the ring for a veteran fight against his former opponent, the great champion Jaroensap Kietbanchong who had beaten him in 1993. At the Nakhon Si Thammarat Stadium, Lakhin lost again to points for this revenge match made twenty years after their first meeting…
On July 21, 2013, Lakhin entered the ring one last time for another veteran fight. In Bangkok, Lakhin (41 years) faced former star Nungubon Sitlerchai (41 years) and beat him in the points.
After his fantastic career, Lakhin opened a beautiful Muay Thai gym on the small island paradise of Koh Yao Noi in Phang Nga province, an island located right next to the famous island of Phuket. Lakhin got married to an English champion Lisa Bucley, together they had a baby boy who is now 12 years old. Lisa Bucley had 26 fights in Muay Thai and won a WPMF belt. Lakhin, his wife, and Lisa’s father, Harold Bucley, opened the K.Y.N. MUAY THAI GYM (Koh Yao Noi Muay Thai Gym). The camp is located right on the splendid beach of Lam Sai Village, it includes two large rings and a set of lovely bungalows. The K.Y.N. Muay Thai Gym is a pleasant boxing camp, nicely decorated with the numerous trophies and photos of former ring star, Lakhin Wassantasit. Foreigners who come to train at this camp have the chance to benefit from the valuable advice of legendary puncher “Mat Phayayom”!
BY SERGE TREFEU