Press ReleaseThailand VS Europe
Now in its second year, the Thailand VS Challenger (TVC) Series continues to establish itself as the leading international muaythai brand in the world as each new event passes another milestone. Jointly organised by Elite Boxing and Elite Boxing Germany, Thailand VS Europe on September 17th in Stuttgart’s Carl Benz Arena continued the TVC theme of producing world class international muaythai events at luxury venues around the world. But it also broke new ground by being the first TVC event to be televised live.
Held at the impressive Carl Benz Arena in Stuttgart, Thailand VS Europe attracted a sell-out crowd and generated a great atmosphere as the fans were treated to four quality fights, all of which went the distance as Thailand emerged victorious by 3 fights to 1.
Before the event, local police had expressed concern about the potential for trouble due to muaythai in Germany being closely associated with second and third generation immigrants, many of whom are involved in gangs. The negative perception that many Germans have of muaythai because of this has prevented it from developing to its true potential in Germany despite a steadily increasing interest in the sport.
While Elite Boxing was well aware of the potential for trouble, it has always been committed to taking muaythai to a higher level and attracting a new breed of fans. Part of this strategy has been to hold TVC events at luxury venues such as the Carl Benz Arena, and it was a strategy that proved successful for this event. In addition to the 1,000 regular tickets, 40 VIP tables were also sold out in the arena.
And by working in close cooperation with the local police, EB ensured that the only fighting was inside the ring. Despite their earlier concerns, local police expressed their complete satisfaction with the organisation of the event and the behaviour of the fans.
But it wasn’t just the fans in the stadium who were treated to a great evening of muaythai. While highlights of TVC events are usually shown in over 180 countries around the world, Thailand VS Europe was the first event to be broadcast live. Running for three hours, the entire programme was broadcast live on Eurosport to 62 countries.
For the action, Thailand won three of the four main event fights on the night. First up was Thailand VS Germany with Jao Chalarm taking on local favourite Andy Roegner. The German impressed many with his understanding of the culture of the sport. From his rendition of wai khru to his Thai fighting style, he gave a very good account of himself in the ring and took Jao Chalerm the distance before narrowly losing on points.
In the second fight, Crice Bousoukou was a late replacement for regular TVC fighter Antoine Pinto of France. While Crice put on a good show, he was beaten on points by Thanongdeh of Thailand.
Next was Thailand VS Holland with muaythai superstar Nonsai taking on Ait Said. Nonsai is well known in Europe and has developed something of a fan club on the continent because of the muaythai seminars he often holds there. However, if he thought his reputation would be enough to secure victory, he was in for a shock as he was pushed all the way by his opponent. Although many in the crown thought that Ait Said had deserved the victory, Nonsai just edged it on points.
The final fight saw Madsua of Thailand and Anatoli of the Czech Republic going head-to-head. Madsua is another TVC favourite and he is also a finalist in the Challenger Muaythai reality TV show. Once again, reputations counted for nothing though and despite putting in a good shift, Madsua lost on points to the Czech fighter.
Speaking after the event, EB’s Managing Director, Toli Makris—who is now based in Thailand but grew up just a few kilometres from the venue—said, “I am delighted that there was no trouble here tonight, and I am honoured to be part of this great event so close to my home town here in Stuttgart.”
Toli also paid tribute to Serdar Karaca, the head of Elite Boxing Germany, for helping to ensure that the event ran so smoothly. While Thailand VS Europe was jointly organised by EB and its German-based subsidiary, it was also an opportunity for the fast-growing conglomerate to tighten the bonds between different subsidiaries within the group.
Elite Boxing Greece was also represented by George Pergialis and Christos Papanagiotou who brought Greek fighter Dimitris to compete in one of the pre-event fights. Dimitris secured a win, but everyone involved with Elite Boxing can claim a victory from this memorable event.
Next in the TVC (2011) Series is Thailand VS Germany in Ulm on November 6.