THE FAIRTEX GYM CAMP
The FAIRTEX GYM to PATTAYA
Special report by Serge TREFEU (2009)
Fairtex it is an empire creates by Mr Bunjong Busarakamwongs (Philippe Wong). Philipe Wong is a millionaire who made fortune in the textile industry in America at the beginning of the 60s. His brand is going to become known Muay Thai of neighborhoods in the United States then all over the world so much that Fairtex is known today as well in the world as the famous brand “Red Bull”.
In the 70s Fairtex was the brand of garment N° 1 in Thailand, then in 1975, Mr Wong loving and fascinated by Muay Thai opens a camp of boxing, Fairtex Muay Thai Gym in Bangkok. This camp always exists and is in the district from Bangplee to 25 km from Bangkok. Mr Wong is one of the first ones to welcome foreigners in his camp and especially girls. A revolution because in the time he was inconceivable in Thailand to see a girl to train in a camp of Muay Thai. Then Mr Wong to go into the event (he made today among the biggest promoters of the Lumpinee) and it is still one of the first ones to make come to fight foreigners in Thailand. One of the very first foreign stars whom he made come to fight in Lumpinee in 1983 was the famous Don Wilson “The Dragon” (11 times world champion of Kick boxing). He also organized later fights with big champions as Ramon Dekkers and Ivan Hyppolyte.
In the 90s Fairtex takes some international expansion by opening complexes of boxing of neighborhoods in the United States then in Japan. Today there are two camps in the United States (San Francisco and Mountain View) and four in Japan (Arakawa, Chiba, Taito, Warabi).
Finally it is in December 2005 that Mr Wong inaugurates its most beautiful complex which is to Pattaya in the most renowned sea resort of the country. It is at present the biggest camp of training of Muay Thai of the world, the most beautiful also from part its gigantic infrastructure dedicated in fitness. Mr Wong besides building this camp phenomenal also renews the old stadium of Pattaya and opens it to the public under the name of Fairtex Thepprasit Stadium, a big brand-new stadium to Pattaya!
But this complex of a surface of 14 400 m2 was especially built for the comfort foreign tourists. Indeed the 4-star hotel of Fairtex offers luxurious rooms, big restaurant, Olympic swimming pool, center of fitness, tennis lessons, and a ground of basketball, a gym of squash and even a climbing wall!
Of the side Muay Thai it is also the high-class with four boxing rings, 19 training bags, a shop of equipment of boxing and about fifteen of trainers!
In spite of the atmosphere a little “factory” the trainings are of qualities with recognized trainers such as Yak (chief trainer, 76 fights, 54 wins), Wangjan (370 fights, 315 wins), Teelek (150 fights, 130 wins), Chok (122 fights, 92 wins), Ram (114 fights, 80 wins), Ched (148 fights, 105 wins), Tank (302 fights, 273 wins) or still Preecha (120 fights, 80 wins). The guests of the camp that they are confirmed or beginners have really the large choice with so much of trainers in their disposal. It is rare to see somebody waiting for a long time for a lesson in paos.
But the must of Fairtex it is to have to set up a “Dream Team Champion” which makes the world-renowned of the camp. The most known from the team Fairtex of Pattaya is Keaw (World champion WBC, Lumpinee Champion, Thailand Champion), Narupol (Lumpinee Champion, Thailand Champion), Attachaï (Lumpinee Champion, Thailand Champion), Khem (World champion, Champion S1, Radja Champion, Thailand Champion, Khem today is in the camp Sitsongpeenong), Ganchaï (Lumpinee Champion, Radja Champion,Thailand Champion), Mankong (Radja Champion, World champion) and the star of the team Yodseanklai (World champion, Winner of the Contendeur Asia on 2008, Thailand Champion, Lumpinee Champion, Toyota Champion) its photo box decorates the main wall of Gym. So fighters high-level as Dekpoungjon, Werasalek and Teerayut complete this dream team.
The boxers of the Team Fairtex have such a level as they training especially to keep their conditions physical. They make many of pao, the morning jogging is light. That of him after noon is longer but the boxers avoid the infernal heat which reigns over Pattaya because they have the luxury to run on conveyor belts in the gym of fitness with the air-conditioned!
The champions train sometime in clinch but very rarely with the other pupils, it is necessary to possess one very, very good level to be lucky to train with one of these stars. Also some champions as Attachaï sometimes give the lesson to trainees of the camp. The champions generally have no same trainers that the foreigners for example Yak (chief trainer) was a long time the official trainer of Yodseanklai.
Today this base of Muay Thai is world-famous because many foreign champions came to training here. The star of the K1, Jerome Le Banner often came to get ready here before his fights in Japan. The English champion Steven Wakeling (World champion WMC, WKA, WBC, Champion S1) it is trained and also fought for Fairtex Gym. And the famous lady boys “Nong Toom” often train in Fairtex Gym, Nong Toom give too a lesson to the Fairtex of Pattaya. Other stars of boxing rings Thai as Kaoklai Kaennorasing came to train here.
Fairtex is also a company managed well with people experimented as Ted Okuno of American origin who is the leader manager of the Fairtex. Ted Okuno coordinates the international fights for the champions of the camp. He is helped by Lynn Maguire who takes charge of bookings for the pupils of the Fairtex Gym. Because Fairtex Gym it is the big company which employs more than 200 persons, trainers sportsmen, staffs of the hotel and the restaurant, and even military guards who watch this luxurious complex 24 hours a day!
This gym had since its creation in 1975 in Bangkok and now to Pattaya champion’s impressive list that made the beautiful days of Fairtex. Their photos are carefully supervised and presentations on a wide wall, generally they pose with the owner of places, Mr Wong. The former most known champions are Fahsritong Fairtex (Radja Champion), Boonkerd Fairtex (Lumpinee Champion), Nuengsiam Fairtex (Lumpinee Champion), Worawut Fairtex (Toyota Champion) and finally a legend of Muay Thai, Jongsanan Fairtex (Double Lumpinee champion, World champion ISKA) aka “The Woodenman” who is now to trainer in Fairtex Gym of San Francisco.
If you wish to train you in this luxury hotel of Muay Thai, he cost you on approximately 2000 in 2500 bahts a day, training, food and accommodation. It is not to suit every pocket but to be close to great champions as Yodseanklai, Narupol, Attachai, Ganchaï, and Kaew in an atmosphere “Muay Thai Resort” it is a unique experience!