October 13, 1966
|Other names||Crazy Elephant|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Weight||70 kg (150 lb; 11 st)|
|Occupation||Muay Thai Trainer|
Changpuek [English: Crazy Elephant] Kiatsongrit (Thai: ช้างเผือก เกียรติทรงฤทธิ์, born October 13, 1966) is a retired Thai Muay Thai kickboxer. He is credited as being one of the first Muay Thai fighters to go abroad and fight other fighters of other martial arts styles, often stronger and heavier than himself, bringing to the world an understanding of the effectiveness of Muay Thai. Changpuek is a seven time world champion who has fought some of the world's best fighters at middleweight to heavyweight and has wins against world class fighters such as Rob Kaman (x3), Rick Roufus, Peter Smit and Tosca Petridis. After ending his career as a professional fighter while working for Sitpholek gym in Pattaya, Thailand, he continued his employment at that gym as a Muay Thai trainer.
Changpuek was born and raised in a small village some 30 km of the town of Prakhonchai, Buriram in northeastern Thailand, one of seven children. As a young child he showed a great propensity towards fighting and was the leader of a local gang while still at school. Thankfully, a young Changpuek put his aggressive streak to better use as he became attracted to Muay Thai from watching local fighters and started training at home alongside his brothers under the tutelage of their father. He had his first fight at 14 and by 18 had left home to join the Kiatsongrit Gym in Bangkok, where he would remain for more than sixteen years. Changpuek fought at the lower weights in his early years spent on the Bangkok circuit, weighing as little as 49 kg (108 lbs) on his Rajadamnern Stadium debut.
After fighting for a number of years in Thailand Changpuek found it increasingly difficult to get fights domestically as his weight (70 kg) was not typical for a Thai where competitive bouts at tend to be at the lower weights. As a result he started to fight abroad facing the K.I.C.K. world champion Rick Roufus in a non title fight in Las Vegas,1988. Changpuek proved to be too wily for Roufus, despite being knocked down in the first and suffering a broken jaw, won via knockout in the fourth round due to the culmination of low kicks that the American fighter was unprepared for. In 1989 Changpuek faced another top class fighter in Rob Kaman (who unlike Roufus who was starting out, was near the peak of his powers). Changpuek won the first match of four between the two by decision in Paris setting the way for a rematch in Amsterdam the following year this time with the added bonus of the I.M.T.F. light heavyweight world title. Kaman gained his revenge in Amsterdam knocking out Changpuek in the last round of their match. The third match between the pair followed two months later with Changpuek taking a decision victory and the belt which Kaman had only just won.
After his trilogy of fights with Kaman, Changpuek would continue to fight some of the top light heavyweight fighters in the world between 1990 and 1992, losing one and winning one against Peter Smit, defeating the tough Luc Verheye by knockout and decisioning Orlando Wiet. In this period he would lose and regain his I.M.T.F. world title and claim the first ever W.M.K. world belt. In 1993 Changpuek was invited to compete against some of the world's top heavyweight kickboxers at the inaugural K-1 world grand prix, losing to eventual winner Branko Cikatić by knockout at the quarter final stage. Not put off by his K-1 debut he was invited back by the organization to take part in a world title fight - defeating Taiei Kin over five rounds to claim the vacant U.K.F. belt.
1993 would continue to be a busy year for Changpuek, he fought on cards throughout the year in Japan picking up several victories as well as losing to legendary karateka Andy Hug at the karate world cup. At the end of the year he fought in the K-2 Grand Prix '93 a tournament held by K-1 for light heavyweight fighters. As the smallest fighter at the event weighing only 75 kg, Changpuek faced Rob Kaman in the fourth (and final) match of their quartet of fights, winning a grueling match by decision. A victory in the semi finals against Tasis Petridis meant a final match against future x4 K-1 world champion Ernesto Hoost. Weary from his past encounters Changpuek managed to push Hoost into an extra round only to lose eventually via a head kick knockout.
Although Changpuek would never again quite hit the peak of his success of the early nineties, he fought a number more times with the K-1 organization, the highlight being a victory against Nobuaki Kakuda to claim the W.M.T.C. cruiserweight world title and wins against the likes of Kakuda were tempered by defeats against Michael Thompson, Ivan Hippolyte and Manson Gibson. Always willing to travel to fight Changpuek fought a number of fights in Europe around the turn of the millennium winning the W.K.U. world title in 2001 but found victories harder to come by as the toll of career of 300+ fights set in and he retired around 2006 aged 40. He currently resides in Pattaya, Thailand where he is the father of two children and is a Muay Thai coach. His nephew, Kongsak Sithboonmee, was named Thailand's top Muay Thai boxer in April 2011.
- 2001 W.K.U. cruiserweight world champion
- 1996 W.M.T.C. cruiserweight world champion -86 kg
- 1993 K-2 Grand Prix runner up -79 kg
- 1993-94 U.K.F. light heavyweight world champion -79 kg (0 title defences)
- 1992 I.M.T.F. light heavyweight world champion -79 kg (1st title defence)
- 1991 W.M.K. heavyweight world champion
- 1990 I.M.T.F light heavyweight world champion -79 kg (retained title after losing it the same year)
- 1990 I.M.T.F light heavyweight world champion -79 kg
277 Wins (178 (T)KO's, 99 decisions), 61 Losses, 5 Draws
Legend: Win Loss Draw/No contest Notes
- NSAC report of WCK Kickboxing
- "Fighter's Profile - Changpuek Kiatsongrit (DOB, height, weight etc)". k-1sport.de. Retrieved 2011-06-06.
- "interview of Changpuek Kiatsongrit (Early life & career)". www.siamfightmag.com. Retrieved 2011-06-06.
- Black Belt Apr 1999 (Rick Roufus interview - mentions fight). books.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-06-06.
- link to homepage of password protected website: "Interview of CHAMPUEK KIATSONGRIT". www.siamfightmag.com. Retrieved 2011-06-06.
- "Kongsak Sitboonmee: The Best Fighter In Thailand". www.liverkick.com. Retrieved 2011-06-06.
- "Sitpholek Muaythai Promotion 27 Dec. 2006 Pattaya". message.axkickboxing.com. Retrieved 2011-06-06.
- "Sensei van Emmen says goodbye to Muay Thai fighting!". www.ibk.nl. Retrieved 2011-06-06.
- "Topic:Vegas Results". www.madhousetraining.com. Retrieved 2011-06-08.
- "Topic:W.c.k. Ppv Las Vegas New Poster&press Release". message.axkickboxing.com. Retrieved 2011-06-08.
- "Steenwijk Changpuek Kiatsongrit Martin vs. Emmen". www.tabonon.com. Retrieved 2011-06-06.
- "CHANGPUEK VS ASHWIN BALRAK (Hollande vs Thailande 2001)". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2011-06-06.
- "HASSAN ETTAKI VS CHANGPUEK N°2.mpg". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2011-06-06.
- "NIKIEMA VS CHANGPUEK 2ème et 3ème Round". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2011-06-06.
- "Peter Smit Vs Changphuak Kiatsongrit Fight 2". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2011-06-06.
- "Peter Smith vs Changpuek Kiatsongrit". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2011-06-06.
- "CHANGPUEK VS KAMAN I N°2 (Hollande vs Thailande 1990).mpg". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2011-06-06.
- "RICK-ROUFUS VS CHANGPUEK N°2". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2011-06-06.