THE RATCHADAMNOEN STADIUM
AND THE CHAMPIONS OF RADJA
by Serge TREFEU
(Photos Siamfightmag : Nicholas READ 2014, Serge TREFEU 2006, 2010, 2012)
The stadium of Ratchadamnoen is the oldest stadium of Bangkok. His construction started in 1941 and it’s an Italian company which laid the foundations of this mythical building. But the works have of the being stopped during the Second World War because building materials were sorely lacking…
In 1945, the construction of the stadium started again, in a few months the building was ended but it was only an open-air stadium, there was no roof, the roof was only put a few years later. The first match of boxing taken place on December 23rd, 1945 and the price of tickets was fixed between 70 and 300 bahts…
IN 1945, THE RATCHADAMNOEN STADIUM LOOKED LIKE A ROMAN AMPHITHEATER!
The first director of the stadium of Ratchadamnoen was a mister Pramote Puengsoonthorn who remained a director until his pension.
Then mister Chalerm Cheosakul took director’s post and it’s him who made build a roof for the stadium, in 1951!
IN 1951, THE ROOF OF THE STADIUM RATCHADAMNOEN IS OVER!
His infrastructure was very modern for time and its accommodation facilities were enormous with more than 4000 places. The stadium of Radja was later nicknamed by the fans of boxing, the stadium ” WickAir ” because it was the only stadium with the air-conditioning!
THE STADIUM OF RATCHADAMNOEN IS THE OLDEST STADIUM OF BANGKOK!
THE STADIUM HAS THE NAME OF THE ROAD WHERE HE’S SITUATED, THE ” RATCHADAMNOEN ROAD ” IN THE DISTRICT OF POM PRAP SATTRU PHAI, IN CENTER OF BANGKOK!
THE STADIUM IS CALLED FAMILIARLY BY THAI « RADJA STADIUM ». THE SIGN IN ENGLISH WAS RECENTLY ADDED!
TICKET OFFICES OFFER THREE DIFFERENT PRICE LISTS, RING SIDE 2000 BAHTS (SOMETIMES UP TO 3000 BAHTS FOR THE BIG EVENTS), FIRST GRADIN 1500 BAHT, LAST GRADIN 1000 BAHT. THE THAIS DON’T PAY THE SAME PRICE AS THE “FARANGS” (FOREIGN), THE PRICE OF TICKET IN THE STADIUM OF RADJA FOR A THAI IS THREE TIMES CHEAPER THAN THAT OF THE FOREIGNER!
THE PUNTERS ARE PRESENT IN MASS IN RADJA DURING THE BIG EVENTS!
THE POLICEMEN AND THE MILITARY ARE ALSO OMNIPRESENT IN EVERY IMPORTANT EVENT (THE MILITARY POLICE OWNS PARTS IN THE RADJA STADIUM)!
In the 60s and 70s the stadium of Ratchadamnoen was world-famous because he had many boxing matches with great Thai champions who were considered abroad. Several stars of the noble Art were also invited in the events as legendary world champion, the American Rocky Marciano, in 1969!
Also, in 1974, the stadium of Ratchadamnoen served in a scene from the movie “The Man with the Golden Gun” with actor Roger Moore, one of the most famous James Bond in the world!
Today, Radja is always the reference stadium with that of Lumpinee, it’s often within the stadium of Ratchadamnoen that take place the biggest event of Muay Thai of the year. And many boxers still dream to hang on his waist the belt of Radja!
THE BELT OF RADJA IS RECOGNIZABLE THANKS TO HIS THREE BANDS, BLUE, ORANGE AND RED!
ATTENTION NOT TO CONFUSE WITH CHAMPION’S BELT OF THE NORTHEAST WHICH ALSO HAS THREE BANDS, BLUE, ORANGE AND RED!
Among the promoters the most known for the stadium of Ratchadamnoen we can quote mister Kléo Thanikul one of the biggest promoters of the 80s (Died in 1991), the former great champion Wanpadet Sakhroumay (Radja Champion, Lumpinee Champion) and mister Songchai Ratanasuban (Promoter in the stadium of Lumpinee in the 80s and 90s). Today still, mister Songchai Ratanasuban is a member of promoters of the Radja who organize at present the most important events with also the promoters mister Chujaroen Raveearamwong, mister Sommai Sakulmetta and the young mister Nuttadej Wachirarattanawong (Son of the promoter N° 1 of Lumpinee, mister Virat Wachirarattanawong, Petchyindee Promotion)!
KLEO SOR THANIKUL (SOR THANIKUL PROMOTION) !
WANPADET SAKHROUMAY (YODWANPADET PROMOTION) !
SONGCHAI RATANASUBAN (ONESONGCHAI PROMOTION) !
CHUJAROEN RAVEEARAMWONG (DAORUNGCHUJAROEN PROMOTION, OWNER OF CAMP CHUWATTANA GYM) !
SOMMAI SAKULMETTA (SOR SOMMAI PROMOTION, OWNER OF CAMP SOR SOMMAI GYM) !
NUTTADEJ WACHIRARATTANAWONG (PETCHVISET PROMOTION, OWNER OF CAMP PETCHYINDEE ACADEMY) !
The weighty categories in this stadium are numerous, they begin by mini-flyer weight them and end by the middle weight which in Thailand was considered for a long time as the category of the “heavyweight” of the fighters of Muay Thai…
During the weighing-in which takes place very early in the morning of fight, the boxers weigh themselves nudes on the balance to avoid at the most exceeding the weight of their category. The officials are strict for the weighing of a boxer, if he’s not for the weight he will have to lose his some grams by running or by jumping rope before rising again on the balance!
TO BE IN WEIGHT FOR HIS FIGHT, IT’S THE PERMANENT OBSESSION OF BOXER!
THIS BOXER IS REQUIRED TO RUN WITH SWEATING JACKET TO LOSE SOME GRAMS. AN EXERCISE WHICH CAN PENALIZE HIM FOR THE EVENING FIGHT BECAUSE TO LOSE WEIGHT TOO QUICKLY IS GOING TO WEAKEN THE PHYSICAL BODY OF BOXER!
THE OFFICIALS NOTE THE NAME OF FIGHTER AND HIS WEIGHT IN THE RANKING OF BOARD OF THE FIGHTS OF THE EVENT!
Categories of Ratchadamnoen stadium:
– Mini-flyer weight (not over 105 lbs)
– Light-flier weight (not over 108 lbs)
– Flier-weight (not over 112 lbs)
– Super-flier weight (not over 115 lbs)
– Bantam weight (not over 118 lbs)
– Super-bantam weight (not over 122 lbs)
– Feather weight (not over 126 lbs)
– Super-feather weight (not over 130 lbs)
– Light weight (not over 135 lbs)
– Super-light weight (not over 140 lbs)
– Weather weight (not over 147 lbs)
– Junior-middle weight (not over 154 lbs)
– Middle weight (not over 160 lbs)
In the stadium of Ratchadamnoen, the events of boxing take place four times a week, on Monday, on Wednesday, on Thursday and Sundays. The events of Thursday are generally the best matches of the week. The fighters get ready and warm up in a common changing room, it’s a big room where all the people mix, boxers, trainers, managers, member of the family of the boxer…
THE CHAMPIONS GET READY IN THE SAME CHANGING ROOM, THE HANDS WITH HAND WRAP, THE BODY COVERED OF NAM MUAY (HEATING OIL), THEY ARE READY TO GO INTO THE ARENA!
The fights in Radja are intense, here the judges favor the second and the third round, and for the counting it’s the number of gained point that is taken into account. With only two rounds or even a powerful round (ex: 40 marked points), in a close match, a boxer can win at Radja!
KOMPICHIT SOR KOR SIRIPONG AGAINST VIGO SOR PHENPRAPA, VICTORY OF KOMPICHIT !
INZEEKAO RAJANONT (OMNOI CHAMPION, TV7 CHAMPION) AGAINST LAMNAMPONG POR TODSAPON (N° 1 OF RADJA), VICTORY OF LAMNAMPONG !
JOMTONG CHUWATTANA (RADJA CHAMPION, WORLD CHAMPION WBC) AGAINST PHETBOONCHU F.A. GROUP (RADJA CHAMPION, LUMPINEE CHAMPION, THAILAND CHAMPION, WORLD CHAMPION WMC), VICTORY OF PHETBOONCHU !
F16 RAJANONT (LUMPINEE CHAMPION, THAILAND CHAMPION) AGAINST NONG O KAIYANGHADAOGYM (RADJA CHAMPION, LUMPINEE CHAMPION, THAILAND CHAMPION), VICTORY OF NONG O !
KAOKLAI KAENNORASING (RADJA CHAMPION) AGAINST LAMSONGKRAM CHUWATTANA (RADJA CHAMPION, WORLD CHAMPION WBC) FOR RADJA BELT IN 160 LBS, VICTORY OF LAMSONGKRAM !
The first great champions of the 60s were Namsak Yontorakit, Dechrit Itinouchit, Sompong Junphtarak, Chalomsak Ploenchit, Sonakrop Kietwayupha, Phadetsuk Phitnurachan, Apidej Sit Hirun!
And it’s in 1965 when was established for the first time an official ranking of the champions of Radja stadium!
Since the 50s, big champions made the beautiful days of this authentic stadium, champions who sometimes took away several times the famous belt of Radja such as Panomtuanglek Ha Phalang, Jack Kiatniwat, Jongrat Lukprabat, Kenkat Kietkrinkrai, Phetmongkon Kietsingnoi, Rajasak Sor Vorapin, Raklek Chutinawee, Satanfaa Sor Pratip, Silapathai Jockygym, Chatchai Sor Suwanpakdi, Chatchanoi Sit Benjama, Kaoklai Kaennorasing, Leudsila Chumpertour, Trakulpet Sor Sommai, Samrandech Sor Srisompong !
Other famous fighters became as well champions in both main stadiums of the country as are Radja and Lumpinee as Chamophet Ha Phalang, Sagat Petchyindee, Singnoum Petchthanin, Wanpadet Sakroumay, Jomhod Kiatadisak, Kaensak Sor Ploenchit, Samson Isaan, Sangtiennoi Sor Rungroj, Yokhunphon Sitrayphum, Thailand Pinsinchai, Anuwat Keawsamrit, Pornsanae Sitmonchai, Sakeddao Phetpayathai, Pakorn Sakyothin, Palongpol Chuwattana, Phanpayak Jitmuangnon, Petchboonchu FA Group, Sangmanee Sor Tienpo, Superbank Sakchaichote, Nong O Kayanghadaogym !
The most prolific champions of the Radja were in the 80s, Chamophet Ha Phalang (3 belts), in the 90s, Jonglex Lookprabat (3 belts), Rajasak Sor Vorapin (3 belts), in the 2000s, Anuwat Kaewsamrit (5 belts), Leudsila Chumpertour (3 belts), Samrandech Sor Srisompong (3 belts), and for 2010s, Sangmanee Sor Tienpo (3 belts)!
Here are some famous Radja champions:
BOUNAM SOR JARUNEE
CHALUMPHON SOR THAHIT
CHAMOPHET HA PHALANG
JOM O SAKNIRAN
PANOMTUANGLEK HA PHALANG
RATCHAK SOR PRASAPON
YOSING SOR PHAYATHAI
CHOKCHAI 3K BATTERY
KAENSAK SOR PLOENCHIT
MANASAK SOR PLOENCHIT
NONGKHAI SOR PRAPHASON
PRAPAMLEK KHOR SITSANTHAT
PRATET SOR THANIKUL
RAJASAK SOR VORAPIN
SANGTIENNOI SOR RUNGROJ
SATANFAA SOR PRATIP
TAPAYA SIT OR
EIGHT RADJA CHAMPIONS WICH HAVE TO MAKE THE 90S, ROBERT KAENNORASING, PENOY CHUWATTANA, KAENSAK SOR PLOENCHIT, RAJASAK SOR VORAPIN, CHANALEUT MEUHANHATYAI, JACK KIATNIWAT, JONGRAP LOUKPRABAT, PHAYAKLEK YUTHAKIT!
BOWEE SOR UDOMSON
CHATCHAI SOR SUWANPAKDI
EKPIKAT MOR KRUNGTHEPTHONBURI
KEM SOR PLOENCHIT
KUPIWA WOR SUTHIRA
NOPKRIT KOR KAMPANA
SAMRANDECH SOR SRISOPONG
SINGMANEE SOR SRISOPONG
THAPISUT SOR MALYWAN
EKARET MOR KRUNGTHEPTHONBURI
KAIMOODAM SIT O
KONGJAK SOR THUANTONG
NUMPHON PK STEREO
PETCHBOONCHU FA GROUP
SANGMANEE SOR TIENPO
TRAKULPHET SOR SOMMAI
RADJA STADIUM (RATCHADAMNOEN STADIUM)
Monday: From 18.30
Friday: From 18:30
Saturday: From 18.30
Sunday: From 18:30 (live TV, Channel CTH)
Ticket prices: 1000 baht (Tribune) 2000 baht (Ring)
Best night on Thursday
1 Ratchadamnoen Nok Road
Pom Prap Sattru Phai