YODKUNPOL SITTRAIPUM (Career 1980-1990)
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Yodkunpol was born on May 4, 1968 in Suwannaphum in the Roi Et region (Northeast region). His real name is Mongkon Suknongbwa.
The young Mongkon began his training in Muay Thai at 12 years old in the Sittraipum camp which was in the city of Suwannaphum. His big brother was also a boxer named Songsaen Sittraipum. The Sittraipum Gym refers to the Wat Trai Phum temple, a temple which is known throughout the Northeast region. The Sittraipum Gym belonged to Khru Thongpon Kamsawat who was Mongkon’s first boxing teacher. It was he who gave the fighter name of “Yodkunpol” to Mongkon.
Khru Thongpon Kamsawat’s Team, which included Yodkunpol and his brother, became famous, the owners of Suwannaphum camp moved to make a bigger camp in Roi Et town, the new camp was called Lukjaopomehsak Gym. It was a provincial camp where one of the biggest stars of the 90’s was formed, the puncher Saenmuangnoi Lukjaopomehsak better known under the name of Samson Isaan (Lumpinee champion in 118 lbs, Radja champion in 115 lbs, Best boxer of the year 1991, world champion WBF in Boxing, undefeated in Boxing with 43 fights including 36 won by KO).
Yodkunpol was four years older than the young wonder boy Samson, the two champions often prepared together for their fight, especially in clinch. Samson fought in the 115 lbs category and Yodkunpol in the 118 lbs category. They sometimes fought the same opponents like Saengrai Sitkruod and Chareonsak Keatnakornchon.
Samson beat by KO Saengkrai and Chareonsak, Yodkunpol beat by points Saengkrai and Chareonsak.
Yodkunpol Sittripoom was undoubtedly the greatest fighter in elbow technique in the 90’s. As soon as he started to fight, he mastered all the techniques of pokes to perfection. Muay Thai fans nicknamed him “Kransok 100 Kem” (The poke with 100 “needles” or “stitches”) because his elbows were like needles that pierced the face of his opponents.
Yodkunpol carried out a lot of fights in the province of Isaan and more than 100 fights in the big stadiums of Bangkok. Yodkunpol has made nearly 500 fights in his career!
He has won many matches by injury stoppage thanks to his razor-sharp elbows. This superb “Muay Sok” (Strong elbow) fought for the great promoter of Lumpinee Mr. Virat Wachirarattanawong (Petchyindee Promotion).
Yodkunpol won in 1992 the Radja stadium belt in 118 lbs against Kraysuwit Sunkilnongkee and the Lumpinee stadium belt in 118 lbs against Chareonsak Keatnakornchon!
On May 27, 1988, at age 20, Yodkunpol went to the United States to do a match against American champion Jimmy Ray Tapia who was champion in Full Contact style.
The fight took place in the city of Phoenix, the match was done in Muay Thai in the 122 lbs category, the Thai was fighting at that time in Thailand in the 115 lbs category. Elbow strikes were not allowed during the fight. Yodkunpol was surprised and stunned by the dangerous Back Fist of the American in the first round. Then, in the second and third round, Yodkunpol destroyed the American champion with series of frenzied knee kicks to the body, Jimmy Ray Tapia finished KO!
In 1990, Yodkunpol participated in the famous Isuzu tournament which took place in the stadium of Samrong, he notably defeated Thongsabat Piyapan and on March 9, 1991, he arrived in the final of the Isuzu N ° 2 tournament. Yodkunpol faced the superb technician Robert Kaennorasing who had won the Radja title in 105 lbs two years earlier. Yodkunpol lost on points to Robert who won the Isuzu tournament.
On June 26, 1990, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Yodkunpol met Panomrung Sitbanjong. The fight was very balanced and ended in a draw.
On Friday September 7, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Yodkunpol lost by KO in the second round against the boxer from Trang (South Region) Prakardseuk Keatmuengtrang…
On Sunday October 7, in the stadium of Samrong, he beat Kongklai Muangchaiyaphum.
1991 was a good year for the Roi Et boxer because he defeated great champions like Wanwisep and Changnoi.
On Monday, May 6, in the stadium of Radja, Yodkunpol beat by KO in the third round the technician Vicharn Sitsuchon!
On Tuesday June 18, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Yodkunpol lost to Changnoi Srimongkol.
On July 23, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Yodkunpol defeated by KO, in the fourth round, the great champion Wanwisep Kaennorasing (Radja Champion in 126 lbs)!
On Friday September 20, in the stadium of Lumpinee, for the rematch, Yodkunpol defeated Changnoi Srimongkol by points.
On October 29, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Yodkunpol lost against Saengrai Sitkruod (Lumpinee Champion in 118 lbs). Yodkunpol and Saengkrai have always had tremendous matches in the ring, they have faced each other three times with one win for Yodkunpol and two wins for Saengkrai.
The year 1992 was the best year in the career of Yodkunpol, he won two belts from the two biggest stadiums in Bangkok, the stadium of Radja and the stadium of Lumpinee!
On January 24, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Yodkunpol won a terrible battle against Charoenchai Sitsothon who ended the fight with a bloody head.
In February, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Yodkunpol and Changnoi Srimongkol met for the rematch. The two champions drew.
On Friday March 6, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Yodkunpol took a dazzling revenge by beating by KO in the third round Changnoi Srimongkol!
On March 31, in the stadium of Lumpinee, the King of the poke won a beautiful victory in points over Saengrai Sitkruod. A titanic match where Saengkrai fell in the third round on a violent poke, counted, he was then opened in the forehead by the pokes from Yodkunpol. But in the last two rounds Saengkrai came back into the match by hitting hard with his fists Yodkunpol who narrowly won the fight!
On April 29, in the stadium of Radja, Yodkunpol faced Singhnoi Sor Prasartporn (Radja Champion in 112 lbs) who beat him by KO in the first round with a superb sequence, left uppercut followed by a “Tei Kan Ko Kwaa” (High kick right).
Yodkunpol then beat Singhnoi in the stadium of Lumpinee, he beat him hard by stopping the doctor in the third round. It was one of the hardest fights in Yodkunpol, both fighters were cut open in the face, Singhnoi ended up with a completely disfigured face. After this match in the stadium of Lumpinee, Yodkunpol had 5 stitches and Singhnoi 24 stitches!
On June 26, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Yodkunpol beat the tough Seesod Keatchidchanok by KO in the third round.
On Tuesday August 4, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Yodkunpol lost on points against Chareonsak Keatnakornchon (Radja Champion in 118 lbs).
On September 7, in the stadium of Radja, Yodkunpol beat Kraysuwit Sunkilnongkee (Radja Champion in 112 lbs) by stop of the referee in the fourth round, Kraysuwit had the forehead and the arch wickedly opened by the pokes of Kransok 100 Kem. This match was for the Radja title in 118 lbs, Yodkunpol won his first belt from a big stadium in Bangkok, the Radja belt in 118 lbs!
On December 8, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Yodkunpol fought for the belt of Lumpinee in 118 lbs and won the match in points against the champion of Radja Chareonsak Keatnakornchon. Yodkunpol won his second belt from a big stadium in Bangkok, the Lumpinee belt in 118 lbs. Yodkunpol was then the holder of the belts in 118 lbs of the two biggest stadiums of Bangkok, Radja and Lumpinee!
On December 25, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Yodkunpol (24 years old) met the young champion who was going up, the Fimeuu Singdam Or Ugrit (18 years old). Technician Singdam beat Yodkunpol on points.
1993 was not a good year for Yodkunpol because he lost both titles during that year…
On Thursday March 3, 1993, in the stadium of Radja, Yodkunpol had a terrible battle against the powerful Dokmaypa Por Pongsawan (Lumpinee Champion in 112 lbs). Dokmaypa was slashed in the face by Yodkunpol’s pokes. But Dokmaypa with his series in fist hurt Yodkunpol very badly who lost in points…
On April 27, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Yodkunpol lost his Lumpinee belt in 118 lbs against his old rival, Saengrai Sitkruod.
On May 26, in Radja stadium, Yodkunpol victoriously defended his Radja belt in 118 lbs against Numtaothong Sor Sirikul!
On July 13, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Yodkunpol beat Kengkat Kietkamthorn by points.
On Thursday September 16, in the stadium of Radja, Yodkunpol found Chareonsak Keatnakornchon. Yodkunpol defended his Radja belt in 118 lbs against him. And Chareonsak beat Yodkunpol from injury in the third round. Chareonsak won the Radja title in 118 lbs.
On Monday December 13, in the stadium of Radja, Yodkunpol had a very big fight against the champion of Radja, Kasemlek Keatsiri. Kasemlek lost in points the fight, after the match he had 9 stitches from Kransok’s pokes 100 Kem!
Then, Yodkunpol made much less fights, he lost in particular against the great champion Anantasak Phanyuttaphum (Omnoi Champion) and he carried out his last fight in 1995 against Michael Thammakasem who beat him on points. It was in the stadium of Radja, in bad physical condition, the King of the pokes made a very poor performance in the ring and was booed by the public. Yodkunpol decided to hang up the gloves after this fight, he was 27 years old…
His boxing career ended, Yodkunpol came to settle in the famous seaside resort of Pattaya where several of his friends lived there. After having carried out very hard fights and spartan training for more than ten years, Yodkunpol took the time to live, a little too much. In Pattaya, the city that never sleeps, for several years, Yodkunpol often partied and drank heavily, until he became addicted to alcohol.
But he finally stopped partying and drinking and started working seriously with a friend at a famous Pattaya bar, the Siren Beer Bar. This tourist bar is located in the sulphurous district of Walking Street, it includes a ring where boxing matches take place in the evening, often encounters between Thai boxers and foreign fighters. Yodkunpol did some fights against foreigners in this bar.
Then, Yodkunpol was a trainer for several years in one of the best camps in Pattaya, the Petchrungruang Gym.
Her 20-year-old daughter has opened a tattoo parlor in Pattaya where Yodkunpol comes there from time to time. The salon is called “Big Art Tattoo”.
Yodkunpol continues to teach his knowledge, sometimes the big camps in Bangkok call on him to prepare their fighters, Yodkunpol then reveals to young boxers his secrets on his unstoppable techniques of pokes!
BY SERGE TREFEU