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PUD PAD NOY WOORAWUT (CAREER 1970-1980)

PUD PAD NOY WOORAWUT

« THE GOLDEN LEG »

Pud Pad Noy, whose real name is Ponn Ommklin, was born on June 25, 1951 in the province of Khon Kaen (North-East Region).

Familiar nicknamed “Moo” (Pronounced Mou), he is the 4th child of a sibling of 8 children, five boys and three girls. Four boys were professional boxers. Pud Pad Noy’s older brother was Pud Pad and his younger brother Pud Pad Nit. Both were great fighters but they did not have a career as prestigious as Pud Pad Noy.

Pud Pad Noy began boxing at the age of 14 at a small boxing camp in Khon Kaen, a camp owned by Mr. Mungkarndee and Mr. Yool Hanjab. For his first fights, he was called Pud Pad Noy Han Phajon. Pud Pad Noy was trained by Khru Sornthong who was the coach of this camp.

Master Sornthong gave him his exceptional technical knowledge. He taught him the perfect mastery of the techniques of Tei Kan Kro (High Kick). The left leg of the young Pud Pad Noy quickly did huge damage to the rings of the Isaan region.

Pud Pad Noy was a gifted boxer, he made his first fight at 14 years old which ended in a draw. Then, he did some sixty fights without any defeat, nobody managed to beat the young prodigy of the rings!

Around the age of 17, in 1969, boxer Sakmanu Woorawut, a friend of his older brother, advised him to go to Bangkok to train at Woorawut Gym. Pud Pad Noy joined this camp that belonged to Mr. Pornput Woorawut.

Mr. Pornput Woorawut was a professional pianist, he played in the biggest hotels in Bangkok as the famous luxury hotel the «Mandarin Oriental Bangkok Hotel».

This great fan of Muay Thai created his boxing camp in 1966, the Woorawut Gym. The camp was in his house in the Phra Nakhon district in Bangkok, it was not far from the very touristic street, Khao San Road. Mr. Pornput Woorawut trained his fighters himself, he had only a dozen fighters but very high levels. He was also responsible for the management of his fighters.

Pud Pad Noy took the name of fighter Pud Pad Noy Woorawut, his little brother Pud Pad Nit then also fought under the colors of Woorawut Gym. Pud Pad Noy fought for ten years for the Woorawut Gym.

During his early boxing years in Bangkok, following his mechanical degree from Khon Kaen, Pud Pad Noy studied for three years at Southeast Asia College in the automotive mechanics sector. But with his Spartan training and many fights in the stadiums of Bangkok, he failed to graduate from university.

Pud Pad Noy did his first fight at the Radja stadium in 1969, he beat Singphon Singbadan by KO in the 2nd round with a High Kick of his left leg!

Fans of boxing immediately nicknamed it «Ay Moo Khaeng Thong» (The Golden Tibia).

That same year, he won a big tournament held in the Radja stadium, the «Favorite Lolita» championship. A tournament that included the top 16 boxers in the 108 lbs category. The Prime Minister himself handed him the winner’s cup in the Radja stadium!

In 1969 and 1970, Pud Pad Noy did 19 fights with 18 victories, he lost only to the great champion Kwanmuang Jitprasert. He beat Kwanmuang a year later for the rematch.

On 21 December 1970, for his first fight at the Lumpinee stadium, he beat Phalachai Sakwarin.

On January 29, 1971, Pud Pad Noy met Kiatpatum Phanphang-nga for the title of Lumpinee champion in 112 lbs. He beat Kiatpatum by KO in the fifth round and hangs his first Lumpinee belt on his waist!

He then beat, in Lumpinee stadium, Rojsaming Lukprakanong (KO), Kwanmuang Jitprasert, Noknoi Singthanongsak, Chandet Weerapol (KO) and Songkramchai Kiat Chor Por, he only lost against Samaot Singsonthong.

On November 5, 1971, Pud Pad Noy won the Lumpinee title in 122 lbs against Suksawad Sritheewet.

A month later, Pud Pad Noy suffered his first defeat by KO against the legendary Vicharnoi Porntawee. Vicharnoi knocked him out in the fourth round at Lumpinee Stadium.

Vicharnoi (112 lbs Lumpinee champion, 112 lbs Radja champion, 130 lbs Radja champion) is one of the greatest champions in the history of Muay Thai. Nicknamed “The Immortal”, he was voted “Best Boxer of the Year” in 1977.

Pud Pad Noy met Vicharnoi three times, he won twice in points and lost once by KO.

In 1972, Pud Pad Noy beat huge champion Fahsai Taweechai (112 lbs Radja Champion) nicknamed “The left Hammer Punch” who was voted “Best Boxer of the Year” in 1970. He also defeated the great champion Denthoranee Muangsurin (118 lbs Radja champion).

At Lumpinee stadium, he defeated Norasing Seeda, Dejsakda Sonram (KO), Thepnarong Kiatsuriya and Sayfah Saengmorakot.

In Bangkok’s Huamark stadium, he won points against Taweechai Luedchon and beaten by KO Technique in the fourth round, puncher Nanna Muangsurin. Nana had knocked out Pud Pad Noy in the same stadium seven months earlier…

At the Lumpinee stadium in early 1973, Pud Pad Noy beat Bunditt Singhprakarn (126 lbs Lumpinee champion) by TKO.

His next two matches ended in two wins on points against Sorasak Sor Bukhalo and Burengnong Singsornthong.

On June 22, in the stadium of Lumpinee, he won the title of Lumpinee in 130 lbs by beating Chaiyut Sitiboonlert. Pud Pad Noy has conquered his third Lumpinee belt!

A month later, at the Lumpinee stadium, he lost points to Yodsingh Sor Payathai. When he met Yodsingh (22 years old), Pud Pad Noy (24 years old) was 5 kilos lighter than his opponent, Yodsingh was a fighter who evolved in the category of 140 lbs. For their first confrontation, Pud Pad Noy weighed 132 lbs (59,800 Kg) and Yodsingh was 141 lbs (64 Kg). Pud Pad Noy finished the fight completely exhausted by the powerful strikes of Yodsingh…

Yodsingh was one of Pud Pad Noy’s toughest opponents. This great boxer was world champion in 140 lbs, Thailand champion in 140 lbs and Radja champion in 140 lbs.

Pud Pad Noy and Yodsingh met three times with two points wins for Pud Pad Noy and one point loss. For rematches, Pud Pad Noy managed to defeat Yodsingh who was always heavier than him during the two matches!

That year, Pud Pad Noy also beat, in Lumpinee stadium, Muangchon Jeeraphan and Somsak Sor Thewasoonthorn.

1974 was a great year for Pud Pad Noy as he won six of his seven fights and defeated two ring legends, Vicharnoi Porntawee and Huasai Sitiboonlert.

In February, he beat Pansak Kiatjaroenchai. In March, he found The Immortal who had beaten him by KO in 1971. Pud Pad Noy made a memorable match against Vicharnoi who had just won the Radja belt in 130 lbs. Pud Pad Noy beat Vicharnoi by points!

On 5 April, at the Lumpinee stadium, Pud Pad Noy met Huasai Sitiboonlert. Huasai was a terrible hitter who knocked out the legendary Apidej Sitthirun and Rawee Dechachai. He was known as The Hammer Punch.

Pud Pad Noy made an anthological match, in the fourth round, Ay Moo Khaeng Thong was counted 8 times following the violent fists of Huasai. On the verge of knockout, Pud Pad Noy managed to get a superb elbow on the jaw of the solid Huasai who was electrocuted!

In June, he again beat Yodsingh Sor Payathai.

On 26 July, at the Lumpinee stadium, Pud Pad Noy met the formidable technician Khunpolnoi Kiatsuriya (130 lbs Lumpinee champion). Pud Pad Noy lost points to Khunpolnoi.

The two fighters faced off three times with one victory for Pud Pad Noy and two victories for Khunpolnoi.

In August, he beat Bunditt Singhprakarn a second time and in October, Pud Pad Noy again won against Somsak Sor Thewasoonthorn.

1975 was the best year of his career.

At the Lumpinee stadium on May 2, Pud Pad Noy beat the great champion Ruengsak Porntawee (Lumpinee champion in 112 lbs and 130 lbs, Radja champion in 112 lbs).

He then defeated Chalermphon Sor Tha-It (135 lbs Radja Champion) and lost to Khunpolnoi Kiatsuriya.

On August 14, at the Lumpinee stadium, Pud Pad Noy had a sumptuous match against the terror of the time, Narongnoi Kiatbandit (126 lbs and 130 lbs Radja champion) who beat him to the points. Narongnoi was the reigning Radja champion when he met Pud Pad Noy. He had just beaten Ruengsak Porntawee for the title of the Radja, he had also beaten the stars of the moment Jocky Sitkanpai and Nongkhai Sor Prapatsorn.

On September 12, in the stadium of Lumpinee, he beat the No. 1 of Lumpinee at the time, Nate Saknarong. Pud Pad Noy and Nate faced off twice with one win each.

Nate Saknarong is one of the few boxers to have beaten the legends of the rings that are Pud Pad Noy, Pud Laolek (Lumpinee Champion, Voted Best Boxer of the Year in 1974, Hall of Fame Legends Trophy in 2014), Vicharnoï Porntawee (Lumpinee Champion, Best Boxer of the Year in 1977, Hall of Fame Legends Trophy in 2014) and Porsaï Sitibunlert (Radja Champion, Best Boxer of the Year in 1976).

Nate Saknarong has been a coach in France since 1995.

On October 14, at Lumpinee Stadium, Pud Pad Noy met a Muay Thai monument, Apidej Sit-Hirun (147 lbs Radja Champion, 147 lbs Lumpinee Champion, 147 lbs Thailand Champion). Apidej, known as “Top Kicker from Bangnokkwack”, was awarded the “Best Fighter of the Century” award by His Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej. He is considered the “best left leg” in the history of Muay Thai.

Pud Pad Noy was 24 years when he faced Apidej who was 34 years old, Apidej was at the end of his career but he was still an exceptional fighter. Pud Pad Noy defeated the legendary Apidej on points!

On 12 November, Pud Pad Noy took revenge on Khunpolnoi Kiatsuriya.

On 23 December at the Lumpinee stadium, Pud Pad Noy faced another super star of the rings, puncher Sirimongkol Luksiripat (126 lbs and 135 lbs Lumpinee champion). Sirimongkol, known as the “Greatful Fighter”, was awarded the “Best Boxer of the Year” award by His Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej in 1973.

Pud Pad Noy beat Sirimongkol by points!

His great performances as a fighter of the year 1975 allowed him to be elected «Best Boxer of the Year» by the prestigious institutions of Thai Muay Thai. Pud Pad Noy Woorawut received his precious trophy by King Bhumibol Adulyadej!

In January 1976, at Bangkok’s Huamark Stadium, Pud Pad Noy lost to the great champion Vichit Loogbangplasroi (130 lbs Lumpinee Champion) nicknamed «The White Shark».

In February, he lost the rematch against Nate Saknarong.

But on May 27, at the Radja stadium, Pud Pad Noy defeated the star Vicharnoi Porntawee a second time!

On April 6, at the Lumpinee stadium, Pud Pad Noy was challenged by the best technician of the moment, Jocky Sitkanpai (118 lbs Lumpinee champion, 118 lbs Radja champion). The famous Jocky Gym camp bears the name of this famous fighter. Master Somat (Owner of the Jocky Gym) gave this name in tribute to one of his best champions, Jocky Sitkanpai.

Pud Pad Noy and Jocky drew for their first match. The two champions met three months later and Jocky won by points.

On August 31, at Lumpinee Stadium, Pud Pad Noy (25 years) met Wangwon Lukmatulee (21 years), a fearsome puncher known as “Mat Patheuan ” (The Wild Fist). Pud Pad Noy lost the match on points. At the end of fight, Pud Pad Noy announced in the ring that he was ending his boxing career…

Pud Pad Noy spent almost two years in the United States. In Los Angeles, he worked as a coach in several gyms. He returned to Thailand after his father’s death in July 1978.

Lumpinee’s promoters offered him a match against Wangprai Rojanasongkram (130 lbs Lumpinee champion). After two years of inactivity in the ring, on August 15, 1978, at the Lumpinee stadium, Pud Pad Noy beat Wangprai to the points!

The following month, Pud Pad Noy made a match against legendary Japanese Toshio Fujiwara (99 wins by KO). Toshio Fujiwara made Muay Thai history by becoming the first foreigner in the world to win a Thai stadium title. On March 18, 1978, in Tokyo, Japan, Toshio Fujiwara beat the reigning Radja champion, the Thai Mongsawan Ruk Changmai for the 135 lbs belt of the Radja stadium.

The match was epic between Pud Pad Noy and Fujiwara with a packed Lumpinee stadium, so full that the police had to push back people who clung around the ring because they prevented the boxers from getting into the ring.

During this memorable fight, Pud Pad Noy was counted twice, once on a hook and once on an elbow. Pud Pad Noy had done only one fight since his return from the United States, he lacked a ring. But the Thai did a great technical fight and fell to the points. This match was declared «Fight of the Year» in Thailand!

On 10 November, at the Lumpinee stadium, Pud Pad Noy met the great star of the 70s, Nongkhai Sor Praphatsorn (Radja champion in 126 lbs and 130 lbs, «Best boxer of the year» in 1980). Nongkhai beat Pud Pad Noy on points.

In 1979, Pud Pad Noy did three more fights but it was no longer the same champion at his peak. He beat Phuchong Saksanguanchom on points and lost to two great champions Kaopong Sitichuchai (126 lbs Lumpinee champion) and Payap Premchai (147 lbs Radja champion).

Pud Pad Noy made 153 fights for 135 wins, 15 losses and 3 draws.

His pugilistic exploits have been rewarded with numerous awards. Supreme honor, he received the trophy of «Best Fighter» by the King of Thailand in person. Pud Pad Noy has had for his entire career, a prestigious award given to him by the high authorities of Thailand, a unique trophy, “The Golden Leg”!

In 1984, the name of Pud Pad Noy Woorawut was inscribed in the «Hall of Fame» of the Ratchadamnoen stadium and in 2014, Pud Pad Noy Woorawut was ranked among the greatest Muay Thai boxers of all time at the «Hall of Fame» alongside Vicharnoi Porntawee and Put Laolek!

In 1979, Jacques Mairesse (President of the Thai boxing federation for several years), Gilles Belloni (Founder of Belloni Gym) and Yan Lenabour, pioneers of Thai boxing in France came to train at Woorawut Gym. Jacques Mairesse and Gilles Belloni proposed to Pud Pad Noy to come to France to do a seminar. The Thai champion was 29 years old, he had finished his boxing career. Pud Pad Noy, accompanied by Khru Thep Pornthep Maisonmdeth (Coach at Jocky Gym), landed in France in 1980 to do a seminar in Paris. Finally, Pud Pad Noy stayed more than twenty years in France, until 2003.

Jacques Mairesse’s gym was in Paris at 13 rue Malebranche. When he came to the gym, Pud Pad Noy saw a sign at the entrance that said “Thai Boxing”. He advised the master of the place to write «Muay Thai» rather than Thai Boxing, a term that was more appropriate for his martial art. The gym was called «Muay Thai France».

This is the first time that the word Muay Thai has been spoken on European soil. It is thanks to Pud Pad Noy that the term «Muay Thai» was known throughout Europe.

Pud Pad Noy has taught his knowledge for years to many French practitioners. He trained many champions, some became great teachers of Muay Thai like Olivier Gauthier, Jean-Marie Merchet, Franck Marre or Daniel Woirin.

The most famous French champion who was trained by Master Pud Pad Noy is the legendary Guillaume Kerner (2 times world champion, 2 times European champion, 5 times French champion). Nicknamed «the Blond Angel» Guillaume Kerner fought 62 fights for 53 victories (32 KO), he was never knocked out, was never counted, he beat the greatest Thai champions of his time at home. He is one of the greatest technicians in the history of the French Muay Thai.

In 1985, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Thailand and France, the Association of Thai Students of France wanted to create a song in which the praise of the great champion Pud Pad Noy be put in the spotlight.

The title of the song was “Moo Khaeng Thong”. The Thai Patchaya Srithanyarat and the French Phillipe Lemonge composed the lyrics of this song. At the time, in France, the Hip Hop movement was booming, breakdance and rap were in fashion. The song «Moo Khaeng Thong» was sung in Thai in a very fast rap style. It was the first rap song released in Thailand!

Pud Pad Noy married a French woman, the couple had a daughter named Noi Na Nuttra Ommklin. In 2011, his daughter published a biographical book about his father entitled “Wine Life 60 Years Pud Pad Noy Woorawut”.

In 2004, Pud Pad Noy moved to Sweden, where he coached Muay Thai on the Swedish national team for three years. He then coached Muay Thai’s national team from the Philippines for two years.

Today, Pud Pad Noy is a referee and official judge in Bangkok. He also works in the TV7 stadium, one of the most famous stadiums in Bangkok.

Pud Pad Noy Woorawut is one of the most famous champions of the kingdom of Siam, this Master has entered the pantheon of legends who wrote the history of Muay Thai!

BY SERGE TREFEU