Some of the most exciting muay Thai fighters out there are the knockout artists. These fighters are normally muay matt style fighters who have a strong boxing style with Knockout power.
Knowing that they will have little chance of winning the fight on points by using their punches, they will look to create openings to land the knockout punch; whether it be by aggressively forcing their way through an opponents guard, by using technical boxing to expose gaps in the guard, or by cleverly utilising other weapons at their disposal to direct their opponent’s attention elsewhere.
The muay matt is often a feared opponent as they are usually not opposed to getting into wars. The two typical traits of a muay matt fighter are;
a) strong chin
b) big heart
This type of fighter may sustain a lot of damage in these battles, and because of this, don’t normally have overly long careers like the muay femur, for example.
6 Legendary Knockout Artists
Wangchannoi Sor Palangchai
The first fighter on the list is also my favourite knockout artist – Wangchannoi Sor Palangchai (5x Lumpinee champion, Fighter of the Year winner 1993).
In my opinion, Wangchannoi had the perfect balance of technical boxing and aggression. He didn’t get into crazy wars and try to overpower his opponents, rather, he picked them apart until he land a flurry of clean punches to KO the other fighter.
This KO of Cherry Sor Wanich illustrates this point quite well.
Wangchannoi knocked out several other high profile fighters during the early nineties, including a 33-second knockout of Namkabuan.
Next up is a fighter who achieved one of the most difficult tasks in the sport in winning the Fighter of the Year Award twice in a row in 2003 and 2004.
Anuwat Kaewsamrit was a Lumpinee champion, 4x Rajadamnern champion and one of the most brutal knockout artists in history. His aggressive punching style style has seen him win over 50 of his 120 fights by KO, and wowing fans in the process.
This fight against Yodbuagam demonstrates Anuwat’s awesome one-punch KO power.
Although many muay matt fighters are very aggressive, Kongnapa Watcharawit didn’t exactly fit that mould. He had an extremely cool style with slick and precise punching, but didn’t lack in other areas either; his kicks were very powerful.
In fact, Kongnapa earned the nickname “The Exocet” due to the shocking power he possessed in his punches and kicks.
Kongnapa knocked out some extremely tough opponents including superstars like Namphon, Panomtuanlek, Sombat, Taweechai and more.
This time, I’m linking you to an incredible kick KO by Kongnapa against Roongrit Or Smith.
This is a fighter everybody reading this will know. One of the most aggressive and exciting fighters in muay Thai history – Ramon Dekkers.
Nicknamed “Diamond” due to his toughness and incredible durability, Dekkers fought in Thailand during the early nineties and took the muay Thai scene (and the whole country, for that matter) by storm.
It wasn’t just the fact that he was knocking out some of the best champions Thailand had to offer – it was the way he was doing it. Without hesitation, without fear, without regard for his own well-being. With extreme violence and epic KO power.
If Kongnapa was at the “technical” end of the spectrum, then Samson Issan was right up the other end at the “aggression” end of the scale.
I liken Samson to a little bull terrior; he just went at his opponents relentlessly until he connected with something. He possessed a lot of power for a fighter his size, and also had a great underhook clinch which he used to throw around larger opponents.
One of the main reasons for Samson’s success was his amazing conditioning; he was able to wear fighters down with immense pressure until he caught them with punches. In this clip of Samson training in his hometown, his regular training regime is documented. It includes 20km of roadwork every day…
Samson held both the Lumpinee title and Rajadamnern title, and also won the WBF title in western boxing.
The last fighter in the list is by no means least. In fact, he is one of the best boxers (if not, the best) ever to compete in Muay Thai, and one of the greatest muay Thai fighters ever.
Veeraphol Sahaprom had it all in terms of boxing; devastating power combined with excellent technical boxing skills.
Veeraphol found a worthy opponent in the aforementioned Samson Issan – their battles were legendary. This video shows Veeraphol’s KO of Samson plus a short clip of their previous encounter in which Samson knocked out Veeraphol.
Looking for a new challenge after winning three Rajadamnern titles, Veeraphol moved over to western boxing and won the WBA world title in 1995 and WBC world title in 1998, dominating the bantamweight division for some time.Follow MuayThaiScholar