Money is the most important thing in the western world. More cash means new construction options, traveling across the pond, visiting the greatest training camps in the world, and a lot more. But Muay Thai is a different martial art, where the majority of warriors fight for honor and respect.
You probably wonder which is the biggest prize in Muay Thai, don’t you? Of course, everybody wants to earn enough cash to support his family and live normally after a hard fighting career. But in many parts of Thailand, you don’t need expensive cars or mansions for happiness. Small things, like love and respect, are way more important.
Even if you earn millions of dollars, it doesn’t mean you’ll be the owner of the greatest Thai boxing rewards. Please read on to get to know the biggest prize in Muay Thai.
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The Difference Between The Richest Fighter And The Biggest Prize In Muay Thai
There is a critical difference between these two parameters in Thailand. It is believed that rich fighters don’t have to be the most popular Thai boxing fighters.
Let me give you an example. You have an average fighter with a mansion and a world-class fighter who lives in a small house, dedicating his whole life to the ancient Siamese martial art. Who’s more popular? Well, number two – a guy who lives for Muay Thai!
So is the biggest prize in Muay Thai expensive car or a huge building? Absolutely not, it’s a different world! You may have all the wealth of this world, but if you based your whole life on bucks, you’ll never be recognized in the world of Thai boxing.
Fighter of the year, Lumpinee Stadium award, award TV7, WBC Muay Thai achievements… There are many more, but these rewards mean media attention, recognition. The fighter who fought at an international tournament and won, for example, $30,000, is way down below the Thai warrior of the year.
Prizes And Recognitions – The Greatest Achievements
Every year, many rewards are issued in Thailand to the best competitors, coaches, training camps, and sometimes even promoters. Thai sports institutions are giving the prizes. People who did something great in the world of Thai boxing can’t be forgotten. It’s a matter of honor.
The most famous achievements and trophies are given by “The Sports Authorities Of Thailand” and “The Sports Writers Association Of Thailand”.
“The Sports Authorities Of Thailand” usually gives the reward to the greatest Thai boxer of the year (male and female), but from time to time you might see awards for the best trainer and the best camp of the year. In Thailand, the Muay Thai fighter of the year gets a lot of respect and he’s valued more than, for example, a local politician. That’s why I pinpoint the difference between a lot of money and a great result in the world of Thai boxing.
But, let’s discuss the most prestigious institution in Thailand – The Sports Writers Association of Thailand. They are giving honorary awards to fighters every year. When you appear on their list, it means that you earned “a world-class achievement”, or, in other words, the biggest prize in Muay Thai.
In most cases, the rewards are given in the “Miracle Grand Hotel”, in the annual event that gathers the greatest Thai boxers with the best achievements in the present year. This means your name will be mentioned for the next 365 days, you’ll know that you did a great thing for the sport. People will recognize you all over Thailand.
Muay Thai Awards Family – Money Is Not In The First Place
Oh, yeah, you read it well. The richest Muay Thai fighter doesn’t have to be the most famous name in the state. Numerous awards can put you in the public eye. These rewards mean more than millions of dollars.
“The Best Fight Of The Year” award is given to the two fighters that showed the greatest performance throughout five rounds of war. This is similar to the UFC or LFA Fight of the Year award in MMA, but you get public attention, not huge monetary rewards.
“The Best Fighter In The Stadium Of Lumpinee” reflects the fighter who showed the greatest performance in Lumpinee Stadium, located in Bangkok, Thailand. Run by the Royal Thai Army, this stadium has turned into the symbol of modern Thai boxing. Many believe that the “Muay Thai Stadium of Lumpinee Champion” is the biggest prize in Muay Thai.
There are other notable sports arenas in Thailand that have awards. For example, “Best Fighter in the Stadium of Radja”, “Best Fighter In The Stadium TV7” etc. But the Stadium of Lumpinee is definitively the most recognized sports venue in the state.
The Sports Writers Association of Thailand also gives more valuable awards. Let’s put on a brief analysis:
- Best Muay Thai boxer fighting overseas of the year – this is given to the competitor who fought outside of Thailand in different fighting organizations (for example, Glory, K1, Enfusion, etc.), where he successfully defended the honor of his state. A good example of this award is Buakaw Por Pramuk, the guy who participated in many international tournaments and earned numerous awards.
- Best Promoter of the year – the person who did the most to increase the popularity of Muay Thai.
- Best Trainer of the year – in the western world, this means the coach with the greatest achievements, but in Thailand, you must pay attention to results and young guns at the same time. For example, a coach of the world champ who doesn’t invest in creating new fighters will hardly get such an award.
- Best up and coming Muay Thai camp – this could easily be the biggest prize in Muay Thai for the owner of the dojo, as it refers to the training camp with the greatest development and progress.
Well, this is definitively a new dimension in the world of the ancient Siamese martial art. If you ask me, people who plan to get to know the biggest prize in Muay Thai should check the achievements of these amazing ring warriors. These rewards are putting people who dedicated their lives to the ancient Siamese martial art to the fore. Their names will remain in Thai boxing history forever. Let’s get to know these outstanding achievements:
- Best fighter of the century – Apidej Sit Hirun received the reward for the greatest ring warrior of the 20th century. For me, this is the biggest prize in Muay Thai. Man, there were so many masters of the ancient Siamese martial art!
- The Cup of King – a very rare award given by His Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej. The owner of the prize is the outstanding champ Sompong Charoenmuang.
- Best foreign fighter in Thailand – you rarely see a guy born outside of Thailand fighting toe-to-toe with the all-time greatest legend of this sport. Well, the Dutch fighter Ramon Dekkers was the man, he even put many Thai-native fighters to sleep. Unfortunately, Ramon died in 2013. RIP legend!
Well, if you want to earn a lot of money, then you came to the wrong country. Fighters do receive money for their results. But in many cases, it’s not more than an average salary. You can earn well if you’re an exceptional fighter, but you can’t be a millionaire.
Muay Thai fighters mostly fight for honor and achievements. They want to write their names in the history of Thai boxing. For example, Saenchai has never been a rich fighter until he started competing outside of Thailand.
Yet, somebody who wants more money usually travels overseas and participates in various kickboxing events. Also, some fighters might test their luck in ONE FC, MMA/Muay Thai promotion led by Chatri Sityodtong. If they choose to participate in a Thai boxing bout, they will wear MMA instead of boxing gloves.
For example, ONE FC offers huge bonuses, sometimes $50,000 for The Fight of the Night. Unfortunately, ONE FC salaries are not publicly disclosed, but for example, the former UFC Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson said ONE FC offered a better paycheck than the UFC. John Lineker and Eddie Alvarez said the same.
Muay Thai fighters don’t get as much money as MMA Octagon warriors, but cash is way higher than paychecks in Thailand for sure. Western kickboxing federations are also ready to offer more money to Thai fighters.
Fighters who believe money is the biggest prize in Muay Thai usually modify their fighting style a bit and compete at western kickboxing organizations.
Thai boxing is different. The biggest prize in Muay Thai is not money, but honor. Many various rewards are given by “The Sports Authorities Of Thailand” and “The Sports Writers Association Of Thailand”, but very few fighters end up with awards. The majority of young guns dream of such achievements. Yet, only some earn them.
Last Updated on May 21, 2022 by Deni