Namsaknoi is a ring legend who marked the history of Muay Thai. He was one of the best fighters of his generation and certainly the most talented technician of the 2000s. He holds the longest reign as Lumpinee champion having remained undefeated for 6 years for the Lumpinee champion title in 135 books. This long reign earned him the nickname “The Emperor” by Muay Thai fans. But he was also nicknamed “Rachanramuay” (The King of Ramuay) and “Ram Muay Mokii” (The Ram Muay of the sorcerer) in reference to the magnificent Ram Muay / Way Khru that he performed in each of his fights. Namsaknoi was twice awarded the “Best Ramuay / Way Khru of the Year” trophy in 2001 and 2006.
His birth name is Muhammud Chaiyamart and his fighter name “Namsaknoi” was given to him at the start of his career to honor his uncle who was a huge champion, he was called “Namsak Yuntarakit”. Namsak was the first fighter to receive the “Best Boxer” trophy from the King of Thailand. “Namsak” means “the mighty”. And “Namsaknoi” corresponds to “Mighty Junior (Noi = Small)”!
Namsaknoi was born in a small fishing village in the town of Chaiya, in the Surat Thani region of southern Thailand. The Chaiyamart family had seven children, five boys and two girls, little Muhammud was the youngest of the Chaiyamart clan.
Namsaknoi’s big brother was called Ges. Ges was a great Muay Thai fighter who was the first idol of young Namsaknoi.
At 8 years old, Namsaknoi started boxing in a small camp near his home, the Pon Pichit Gym, then, he then joined the Sit Kru Pan camp. A few months after starting his training in Muay Thai, he made his first fight which ended in victory. He won 150 baht, a sum he gave entirely to his mother.
Namsaknoi fought about 50 fights in the two small provincial camps before going to Bangkok in the Kiatsingnoi camp where he remained there for 5 years.
At 13, he made his first fight in a big stadium in Bangkok. Wonder boy boxer, his dexterity and his phenomenal glance on the ring impressed the public of the famous stadium of Lumpinee. A stadium in which he made most of his fights.
In 1995, Namsaknoi won his first important belt, he beat the formidable Neungpichit Sityodtong for the Lumpinee belt in 112 lbs and the WMC World Champion belt in 112 lbs.
In 1997, Namsaknoi joined the famous Por Pramuk camp which is located in the Chachoengsao region. He fought for 8 years under the colors of Por Pramuk Gym and trained alongside the young Buakaw who later became a world star.
The Emperor of rings won his second Lumpinee belt in 1999, he beat star Lamnammoon Sor Sumale by KO for the Lumpinee title in 130 lbs.
In 2000, he won the Lumpinee belt in 135 lbs against the great champion Kaolan Kaovichit. Namsaknoi kept his Lumpinee belt in 135 lbs until 2006, he defended it successfully notably against Noppadet Sengsimaigym, Nontachai Sit O (Twice) and Samranchai 96 Peenang.
In 2010, he beat the Italian champion Diego Calzolari by KO and hung the WAKO World Champion belt in 154 lbs on his waist.
Namsaknoi defeated almost all of the best champions of his time such as Saenchai Sor Kingstar (Best Boxer of the Year in 1999 and 2008), Lamnamoon Sor Sumalee, Kaolan Kaovichit (Best Boxer of the Year in 1998), Neungpichit Sityodtong, Nontachai Sit O, Samkor Kietmontep, Thongchai Thor Silachai (Best boxer of the year in 2001), Pajonsuk Lookprabat, Noppadet Sengsimaigym, Samranchai 96 Peenang, Mangkon Kietsomkoum and he is one of the few fighters to have beaten by TKO the great champion Japanese Satoshi Kobayashi!
This extraordinary fighter made 300 fights for 280 victories, 15 defeats and 5 draws. He was also a Ford Ranger Tournament Winner in 126 lbs, Southern Champion in 126 lbs and 95 lbs and PABA Boxing Champion in 135 lbs. His hardest fights were against the terror Attachai Fairtex (Draw) and Samkor Kietmontep (2 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw).
Namsaknoi received the trophy of “Best boxer of the year” by the two most prestigious Thai associations. In 1996, he was voted best boxer of the year by “The Sports Writers Association of Thailand” and in 1999 by “The Sports Authority of Thailand”!
After his career, for 6 years, he was a trainer in the famous Evolve MMA Gym in Singapore. Then, in 2016, he opened his own gym, the “Namsaknoi Muay Thai Club” on the island of Koh Phangan in southern Thailand.
BY SERGE TRÉFEU