Prathet started learning Muay Thai at the age of Seven. He, along with his elder brother, Kom Kiet, were trained by their Father. They would train from a bag hanging from a Tamarind tree in their garden.
Kom Kiet was first to leave home at Sixteen, moving to the Kleo Thanikuls’ prestigious Muay Thai camp ‘Sor Tanikul.’ When Prathet turned 14 Kom Kiet promised to buy him a pair of Levis if he would moved to Sor Tanikul Gym and compete in Muay Thai. Prathet agreed, and over twenty years later, after much training and fighting, he is still waiting for his pair of Levis!
"all for a pair of Levis"
He soon made his way up the rankings, drawing parallel with the then, current Raja Champion Nung Siam (57KG), making Prathet ready to fight the current Champion Sorn Lam. However, at the age of 21, Prathet pulled the ‘Red Card’ and was called into the Army. Four months of Military Service cost him his eminent ranking to fight Sorn Lam for the Rajadamern Championship Belt. This coincided with the closure of Sor Tanikul Gym and Prathets’ trainer suggested he start fight boxing at Bangkoks Galaxy Gym. He was there for about four years, in which time he had nineteen fights, winning fifteen, five of which were knock outs. He also fought for the WBO fights against Michael Katsidis in Australia and for the PAPA in Indonesia.
At the age of twenty-four Prathet retired from fighting to work as a Body Guard in Macau. He then moved back to Thailand to begin his career as a Muay Thai trainer, initially at Jitty Gym, then at the famous Tiger Muay Thai Training Camp. Encouraged by founder Will McNamara, Prathet embraced fighting Muay Thai again and became the Southern Champion nine times. It was here Prathet learnt English, which enabled him to travel and teach Muay Thai in the UK, Australia, Sweden, Germany and Hong Kong.
Sor Tanikul Gym
The original owner, Kleo Tanikul, was considered the God Father of Muay Thai in Thailand. He was a rich man who owned casinos, dated the most beautiful celebrities and gave huge donations to the two main stadiums in Thailand – Lumpinee and Rajadamern. He bought all the best fighters and paid them well, his reputation was known to all Martial Artists in Thailand. He was also known as a gangster by the police, and was cornered in his car by a police cordon, then shot at many times until he was dead. The Thai people believe he had no bullet wounds on his body because of the amulet of Buddha he wore around his neck. Sor Tanikul featured in the American movie, Kickboxer, where many of the fighters were featured. The gyms doors were finally closed in the 1970s.
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