With gyms given the “OK” to open up again early June, many gyms scrambled to get their fighters back in shape for the shows that were rumored to start in mid to late June. However, those shows that were announced, mainly at Channel 7 and Omnoi, were postponed due to the government still forbidding fights from happening. Many fighters breathed a sigh of relief as it gave them more time to get their bodies back in shape after months of inactivity. It is not common for fighters in Thailand to try to stay in shape when they’re not at the gym (or even when they’re simply without a fight), so many gyms saw their fighters heavier than usual and with barely any signs that they were in shape just a few months ago prior to lockdown.
On July 2, the Muay Thai community rejoiced – the government, along with the boxing committee, gave the green light for fights to officially start on July 4th.
Stadiums are allowed only the fighters, cornermen, officials and judges, and venue staff. No audiences just yet. Fighters also have to obtain a medical certificate saying they are free from COVID prior to the event.
On July 4th, the first Muay Thai show post lockdown was at Omnoi Stadium. A screenshot from the aired event went viral – with the referee and both fighters had face shields and masks on. It was captioned, “The new norm.” The fighters didn’t have to wear the face shields and masks during the fight, but the referee and other officials kept theirs on for the duration of the event. Speculatively, this is not because they’re concerned about COVID, but because they want to quell any potential backlash from the government. Muay Thai has gotten a bad reputation when it comes to the virus due to a huge cluster of outbreaks that stemmed from a show at Lumpinee Stadium back in March – it’s no surprise that people within the community are doing what they can to prove them wrong and do what is needed so fights can get up and running regularly again.
Since the announcement of fights being allowed to start again, some other shows have followed suit in publishing their upcoming events (although many of these already had the fighters confirmed, they just didn’t announce it to the public in case they weren’t allowed to host fights). It is rumored that the entertainment shows such as Super Champ will not start until August – this is not-so-great news for female fighters in Thailand who are itching to get back in the ring. Here are some notable events and title fights coming up:
Wanchalong PKSaenchai defends his Channel 7 title @ 118 lb vs Suasat Paedminburi
July 15: Rajadamnern will have its first show back with Kaona PK Saenchai vs Yodlekpet Or. Atchariya as the main event @ 137 lb. Co-main event will be PonEk Or.Kwanmuang vs Manachai YokkaoSaenchaiMuayThaiGym @ 144 lb.
July 18: Omnoi Stadium Super-Lightweight Title
Thanonchai Somwanggaiyang vs Seksan Or. Kwanmuang
Will be aired on Channel 3 12:15 Thai time
July 31: ONE Championship
View via ONE Championship app