TINIAN — Kickboxing fans crowded the Tinian Multipurpose Gymnasium Saturday night with an audience estimated at 1,500 who showed up to witness the first ever Tinian 2000 Asia Pacific Muay Thai Boxing Championship.
Intensive preparation efforts were not in vain, according to Chairman of the Security Committee Ray Cing, who expressed delight over the event’s outcome.
“We are currently using the maximum capacity of our gym,” said Mr. Cing.
It was an evening of kicks and punches — the Muay Thai way. Kickboxing champions from all over the globe exhibited fierce fighting techniques that kept the audience glued to their seats for more than five hours.
Boxing warriors from Korea, People’s Republic of China, Thailand, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, and Macau, waged fights against each other, aiming for that championship title.
In the first match, Korea’s world-class top fighter Kim Sung Won and China’s “dangerous” boxer Liu Da Wai struck a draw, both demonstrating equally crafted kicks and punches.
Thailand’s Wanchana Wongrat, 18, during the second match, knocked out China’s Lui Fei in a bout that ended after only one round.
Nick “the Killer” M, a five-year Thai Boxing champion, conquered China’s Tang You Kai, in a close, exciting match that nearly drove the audience off their seats.
Macau’s Chumpong Chumputhong bested Japan’s Takahiro Sasara, who fell down at least four times after succumbing to his defeat.
Adept in the offensive and aggressive fighting style, Heo Yoon Jae of Korea overthrew Hong Kong’s Yu Pei Bin, in a five, three-minute round match.
New Zealand’s champion, Shan Chapman, emerged the winner in a tough battle with Macau’s Dejpayak, a Thai-bred boxing warrior with vast experience in international boxing meets.
It was also a dead heat between Japan’s Bob Fujii and Qi Le Ping of Hong Kong, after they engaged in a five, two-minute round match that exhibited their equal punching and kicking combinations skills.
For the final and most awaited match, crowd-favorite David Gahan from New Zealand, dubbed as the “the Killer of Thai Boxers,” beat Thailand’s “Vice King” in the kickboxing arena in a stiff and draining competition that kept the audience clamoring for more.
Before his Tinian victory, Mr. Gahan has been popularly known as the boxer who knocked down seven fighters in competitions held within five months in Bangkok, a miracle feat noted by his rivals.
More boxing exhibitions followed after the official matches.
Tinian’s grand Thai Boxing Championship ended with a cocktail reception held at the Jackpot Lounge of the Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino, the event’s prime sponsors.
Muay Thai Boxing, a national martial art in Thailand, is a sport embraced by martial arts enthusiasts all over the world.
During the war, Muay Thai Boxing was believed to have been practiced by the soldiers of the army, used to keep enemies beyond the range of old weapons such as swords.
The Thais used the art as a self-defense technique developed and tested in battle by the ancient warriors.
The Hong Kong and Macau Free-Fighting Association Limited has initiated efforts to attract local CNMI residents to develop a leaning toward this marital arts tradition.