INTERVIEW OF MASTER NATE SAKNARONG
by Serge TREFEU (2016)
Serge TREFEU: Hello Ajahn Neth, how are you?
NATE SAKNARONG ( NETH): I’m doing great, thank you
How old are you?
I’m 62 years old
You come of what region of the Thailand?
I’m of Phang Khon in the region of Sakon Nakhon in the northeast of the Thailand
You are married, you have children?
Yes I was married in Thailand and I had two children, two boys. Then, I had another child in France, a girl
You have brothers and sisters ?
I have three older sisters and a younger sister, we are five children in the family and I’m the only boy
You began boxing at which age?
I started boxing at the age of 14
How you discovered the boxing?
There was Ajahn (Master) of Muay Thai in my home town. He trained young boxers in a quite small camp near my home, there was only a single punch bag. One day, I was to see the trainings and it pleased me, master told me, ” If it interests you the boxing, comes to see me after the school “. As soon as I finished the school, I left at once seeing master who began to teach me Muay Thai…
You fought at once?
After a month of training, my master brought me to a festivity of the village where there were fights of children. He chose a fighter who made nearly the same weight as me and he told me you are going to fight against him. This boxer had already made 20 fights, I fought him and I won my first fight at points. This evening there I took away 100 bahts and especially I won the trophy of best fighter of the evening, a cup which was offered me for my match, I was very proud!
You fought a lot in Isaan (Northeast)?
I have make 30 fights and I have never lost before going to fight in Bangkok
At what age you made your first fight in Bangkok?
At about 17 years I have make my first fight for the stadium of Ratchademnoen
In what category you fought in the time?
In 130 lbs
What is that you have to gain a belt of a big stadium of Bangkok?
No but I beat all the champions of the stadiums of time, I was number 1 for a long time…
What are the most known champions whom you beat?
I beat Pud Pad Noi Worawut, the first time I faced him in the stadium of Lumpinee and I lost in points in 1975, I met him then in the stadium of Radja and I beat him in points in 1976. I met three times Vicharnoï Porntawee, in the stadium of Radja, the first time, I lost in points, then the second time I beat him in points and for the third fight I lost in points. I faced so twice the superstar of the time Pud Laolek, the first time in the stadium of Radja, I won at points and the second time in the stadium of Lumpinee, I lost in points. I met three times Porsaï Sitibunlert, in the stadium of Lumpinee, the first time I beat him in points, the second time we made a draw and the third time I lost in points…
At that time, I also beat a Japanese champion who was a world champion of kickboxing, he came to fight in Thailand, in the stadium of Radja, I beat him by KO in the third round. Then, there is a world champion of kung fu, a Chinese, which came to fight with me in the stadium of Radja, I beat him by KO in the first round!
How much you made of fights in your career?
I have make more than 200 fights, I do not remember to myself any more exactly the number of victories and defeats because it makes for a long time now…
You had which style of boxing?
I was a boxer ” Fimeuu ” (Technical), I fought in left-hand guard with a left leg and a left fist very hard, a good hook also
What was your hardest opponent?
Against Porsaï Sitibunlert because he was very tall, he was of the same style as Dieselnoi, very tall, his blows of knees in the breast very hurt me, I ended at the hospital having fought with him in Lumpinee…
And also against Pud Laolek, not for the power, but it was very difficult to beat because it was a big technician
Your best memory of boxing?
It’s to have beaten Pud Laolek, Pud Pad Noi, Wicharnoï and Porsaï because they were the best boxers of the category, big “Yod” (Very highly-rated Champion) of the time, to beat these champions it was not easy!
You have already fought abroad?
I was in 1977 in Los Angeles to fight in a big stadium of American football, I beat the American Hart by KO in the fifth round which was a world champion of Full-contact karate, officially the Americans did not put his belt in games, but it’s as if I was a world champion…
You have good purses in the time?
For my fight against Pud Laolek I gained 150 000 bahts what was enormous as purse in the time. But my best purse was for my fight in Los Angeles, I won a million bahts!
Thanks to my purses, after my career, I was able to buy to myself a truck to trade in my region then on Bangkok…
In what year you came in France?
In 1988 to fight in an event organized by the singer Jean-Luc Lahaye. He had organized an official reception at the stadium Coubertin for an association of the orphan children. I met Mustapha Benatia (Europe Champion) whom I beat by KO
INTERNATIONAL EVENT IN 1988 TO STADIUM COUBERTIN, NATE VS BENATIA. AT THIS EVENT THERE THE THAI SOMSAT AND WANNOP FIGHTING ALSO, WANNOP FACED CHAMPION JO PRESTIA
Then, you settled down in France?
Yes I lived in France since 1988 until today, I live in region of Normandy in the city in Val de Reuil. And I have a girl who is 14 years old, she comes to train sometimes with me, she wants just to learn Muay Thai to defend itself…
You opened a gym in this city?
Yes Neth Gym which exists since about twenty years, I’m a trainer now
THE TEAM NETH GYM
You know the French fighters of today?
Yes I know well, I was several time in Paris in the event Best of Siam, my friend Krongsak invited me in this beautiful show
MASTER NETH IN CELEBRATES EVENT BEST OF SIAM
Thank you very much Ajahn for the interview
Thank you for the interview and I would want to say hello to my family in Thailand, and Pud Pad Noi, Pud Laolek, Wicharnoï, because all became of great friends today, also to Krongsak who is going to come to our small event which will soon be organized near my home of my city
Master Neth of his name of fighter Nate Saknarong was nicknamed by the fans of Muay Thai ” Daodan Phang Khon ” (The star of Phang Khon). This immense champion was a member of stars of the 70s, a time when the matches of Muay Thai in Thailand were often very, very hard. Nate Saknarong is one of the rare boxers to have beaten the legends of the boxing rings that is Pud Pad Noi Worawut (Lumpinee Champion, Elected Best Boxer of the year in 1975, recognized as one of the ten better of all times fighters, trophy of the legends Hall Of Fame in 2014), Pud Laolek (Lumpinee Champion, Elected Best Boxer of the year in 1974, trophy of the legends Hall Of Fame in 2014), Vicharnoï Porntawee (Lumpinee Champion, Elected Best Boxer of the year in 1977, trophy of the legends Hall Of Fame in 2014), Porsaï Sitibunlert (Radja Champion, Elected Best Boxer of the year in 1976), Nate Saknarong beat these terrors of boxing rings in 1976.
Master Neth has never conquered a belt but as the star of the 90s Somrak Khamsing (N°1 of stadiums Lumpinee and Radja during several years) he was N°1 of the biggest stadiums of Bangkok.
MASTER NETH AND “THE GOLDEN LEG” PUD PAD NOY CLASHED TWO TIMES EACH WITH WIN
CONFERENCE OF PRESS OF TIME FOR THE MATCHES ENTERS PUD LAOLEK AND SATANFAA SOR PRATIP AND PUD PAD NOY AGAINST NATE SAKNARONG
PUD LAOLEK ” THE COMET OF SOUTH ” AND NATE SAKNARONG HAVE MADE TWO FIGHTS WITH ONE WIN FOR PUD LAOLEK AND ONE WIN FOR NATE SAKNARONG
NATE SAKNARONG BEAT ONE TIME “THE IMMORTAL BOXER” VICHARNOY PORNTAWEE AND LOST TWICE AGAINST HIM
VICHARNOY, PUD LAOLEK, PUD PAD NOY THREE LEGENDS HALL OF FAME
Master Neth also beaten champions Kunponnoi Kietsuriya, Wannarong Peeramit, Seeprae Duangprateep, Weerachart Sorndaeng, and many others…
On March 12th, 1977, Master Neth was a part of the Thai team which was to challenge the American champions of Full-contact karate WKA (Full-contact karate with low kick) at their home, in Los Angeles, it was the first time in the story of Muay Thai that a delegation of Thai champions were going to fight abroad. During this event, both Thai boxer Nate Saknaron and Narongnoi Kiatbandit were informed at the last moment that they could not fight with arm them favorites, the pokes, the knocks of knees and the projections. Furthermore, the American fighters had protect shins under their pants of Full-contact karate while Thai fought in pair of shorts and without protections for shins.
Nate Saknarong met the world champion PKA Earnest Hart, the Thai was put three times on the ground in the first round further to violent series in the fists of the American champion, in the fourth round, both boxers were counted and in the fifth round, Nate Saknarong put KO the American.
The main fight was the confrontation enters the superstar of the kickboxing Benny Urquidez (World champion WKA) and Narongnoi Kiatbandit. After a hard fought match, the judges gave winner the American while a lot of people saw the Thai winning this match. A riot broke out after this decision and finally the judges changed the decision to declare a match no-contest…
Today, Master Neth is installed in France for more than 25 years, it established his own gym, in 1995, Neth Gym (Gym Léo Lagrange, Voie de la Découverte, 27100 Val de Reuil) which is in Normandy. He became a trainer considered in France which formed several champions such as the magnificent technician Karim Saada (Europe Champion, 6 times Champion of France, twice amateur World champion), one of the best French fighters of the 2000s who beat great champions of the discipline as Fabio Pinca, Youcef Totof, Mustapha Ziani and legendary Rajasak Sor Vorapin (3 times Radja champion). Master Neth also formed at the middle heavy Stéphane Gomis who was twice a champion of France and silver medal in championships of amateur world WMF in 2007. He also prepared the great champion Fabrice Payen for his fights for the stadium of Ratchadamnoen in the 90s.
MASTER NETH IN THE THAI SPECIALIZED MAGAZINES
MASTER NETH, A 60 YEAR OLD BOXER ALWAYS IN SHAPE
Real Name: Weeraneth Nakin
Nickname fighter: “Daodang Phang Khon” (The Star of Phang Khon)
Address: Val de Reuil Normandy France
Date of Birth: 1954
Weight: 60 kg
Number of fight: 200