special report by Serge TREFEU (2008)
The Chuwattana Gym is situated in Bangkok in a very tiny street in the district of Pomprab, just in front of a big hospital. You must know to find it. You can pass 10 times in front of the entry without seeing that there is a camp of this place.
Indeed, the entry to accede at Chuwattana is in a very tiny street which is in parallel with another tiny street. In the little street you have to enter and cross an apartment to reach the camp…
What you feel at first is the heat of this very narrow place. A line of 6 bags spread itself along a compound situated between 2 buildings in which you can see the rooms terraces. 3 large dormitories permit the boxers to rest.
A ring is in the corner of the compound. Around the Ring, paos, gloves, jumping-rows and helmets are gently arranged. At the bottom, is a small cooking clamped between walls and boxing ring. The smiling female cook works hard so as the meal be ready for the evening diner.
Near the ring, meals are cooking releasing an appetizing smell which mixes itself with the sweat of the boxers and the famous Nammuay which perfume always training camps…
A closed room next to the ring is used as dining room but when there are too many people, paos lessons take place here!
In this camp, there is practically no air and the smothering heat suffocates even more the boxers who train in this oven. Here, training condition is very hard but the trainers are very good. That must be the reason why a lot of champions are made here!
Chuwattana camp, opened since 30 years ago has about 30 fighters trained by 6 trainers and supervised by Mister Yai, the chief trainer. Mister Narong Raveearamwong aka “Billy”, takes care of the management of the boxers.
A lot of Farangs (foreign) comes to trains here in this camp very well known in Thailand and all over the world. We often see here Frenchs, Japanese’s, Canadians and English’s people. The French champion Rafik Bakkouri (contender boxing) has stayed here several months and the Japanese champion Hayato fight often for the camp. But very few “farangs” sleep in the dormitories with Thai people, generally, they rent a room outside the camp. It costs around 700 bahts per day for training and meals. Trainings take place in the morning from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and in the afternoon from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The particularity of this camp is that it is the first camp to form fighters in Boxing and create a Professional circuit with Japan. Moreover the president of the camp Mister Choocharoen Raveeramwong (promoter in the Stadium of Radja) is in permanent relation with big Japanese promoters for several years. Many boxers from Chuwattana go regularly fight in boxing in Japan.
From this camp went out a lot of champions and still today, there are about 10 champions in Muay Thai and 4 in Boxing.
In Muay Thai, there are pearls like Lamsongkram (Radja Champion in – 70 kg, WBC World Champion, S1 Winner) a fighter so redoubtable as Yodseanklai in the current circuit, Nopphadet (Radja Champion in – 66 kg, WBC World Champion), Jomthong (WMC World Champion in – 60 kg and N° 1 of Radja) considered with Seanchai is one of the best fighter of the circuit, they even disputed the title of “Best fighter of Thailand” at Lumpinee Stadium in July 2007 and Seanchai has won by points, Kayasit (Radja Champion – 55 kg) a super technician and finally Kengkaj (number 2 Radja stadium in – 66 kg) !
In Boxing there are pearls like Wethya (WBC World Champion), Kumarnthorn (Intercontinental OPBF Champion and Asia Champion), Muangfahlek (Intercontinental Champion TBC) and Norasing (Intercontinental Champion TBC) !
Chuwattana Gym is a camp where training is very hard but open to all foreign Nak muays who want to perfect their art with huge champions…