Lumpinee Boxing Stadium

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Lumpinee Boxing Stadium
(Sanam Muay Lumpinee)
Bangkok Lumpinee Boxing Stadium 1.jpg
New Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in 2014
LocationRama IV Road (8 December 1956 – 8 February 2014),
Ram Intra Road (11 February 2014 – present)
Bangkok, Thailand
Coordinates13°52′1.36″N 100°36′31.88″E / 13.8670444°N 100.6088556°E / 13.8670444; 100.6088556
OwnerRoyal Thai Army
MG Rachit Arunrangsee,
President
OperatorRoyal Thai Army
Capacity5,000
Field size3007.5 m2
Construction
Built1956
Opened8 December 1956
Expanded11 February 2014 (move ground)
Tenants
Songchai Promotions
Annual King's Cup
Website
www.lumpineemuaythai.com/home/

Lumpinee Boxing Stadium (Thai: สนามเวทีมวยลุมพินี) is a sporting arena in Bangkok, Thailand. The stadium is named after Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha. Opened more than a decade later than Rajadamnern Stadium, Lumpinee is run by the Royal Thai Army. It has become the symbol of modern Muay Thai. Only Rajadamnern Stadium rivals the prestige of holding the title of "Muay Thai Champion of Lumpinee". The ranking system and championship titles are held from mini flyweight (105 lb) up to super welterweight (154 lb).[1]

Muay Thai bouts are held on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. The fights usually start around 18:00.[1]

The final event at its original site on Rama IV Road near Lumphini Park was held on 8 February 2014.[2] The stadium then moved to its new home on Ram Intra Road which can hold up to 5,000 spectators.[3] The new stadium held the first fight on 11 February 2014 and was officially opened on 28 February 2014.[4]

History[edit]

The bell of the old stadium
Muay Thai ring at the old stadium in 2005
Inside the new stadium

General Praphas Charusathien was the driving force behind the construction of the Lumpinee Stadium, the second national stadium built in Thailand after Rajadamnern. Lumpinee opened its doors on 8 December 1956. The stadium is operated by the Army Welfare Department of the Royal Thai Army. All proceeds from the fights go towards supporting the various departments of the Thai Army.[5] The board of directors, as of 2020 headed by Army Commander Apirat Kongsompong, consists entirely of army officers.[6]

Eleven promoters are responsible for booking boxers to fight at the stadium. The rules are the same as at Rajadamnern: boxers must weigh more than 100 lb (45.4 kg), older than 15 years, with a weight difference between boxers of not more than a 5 lb (2.3 kg). Women are not allowed to fight in the stadium or enter the ring.[7]

One of the most famous Lumpinee champions was Dieselnoi Chor Thanasukarn who reigned without defeat in the early-1980s, holding the Lightweight title for four years. He was eventually forced to retire because he ran out of opponents.[8]

Lumpinee Stadium was implicated in a cluster of COVID-19 cases during the coronavirus pandemic in Thailand in 2020.[9] Boxing matches were held on 6 March 2020 in spite of a government shutdown order issued on 3 March.[10][11] Among those later stricken by COVID-19 was the chief of the Army Welfare Department, who had been at the stadium.[12]

In early 2021, it was reported that the Army was considering releasing the stadium to the private sector, or turning the stadium into a museum.[13] In response to this, Lumpinee management announced their intention to re-brand and implement major changes. These changes included allowing women to fight in the stadium, begin hosting mixed martial arts bouts and ban gambling in order to attract a non-gambling audience.[14][15]

Traditionally reserved for male fighters, Lumpinee Stadium eventually hosted its first female fight card on November 13, 2021. The main event featured Buakaw Mor.Kor.Chor.Chaiyaphum facing Sanaejan Sor.Jor.Tongprajin for the WBC Muaythai mini flyweight championship and Lumpinee Stadium women's mini flyweight championship, with Sanaejan winning by decision.[16]

Having long been a venue for Muay Thai, Lumpinee Stadium made history by holding its first mixed martial arts event on January 16, 2022, hosted by Fairtex Fight Promotion. The event consisted of both Muay Thai and MMA fights.[17][18] In August 2022 it began hoisting ONE Championship events, with nearly all fights under Muay Thai rules.

Notable champions[edit]

Boxer in new Lumpinee Boxing Stadium

Only six non-Thai athletes have become Lumpinee champions. The first winner was French-Algerian fighter Morad Sari, who claimed the super lightweight championship in 1999. French fighter Damien Alamos won the super lightweight title in 2012 and was the first foreigner to defend the belt later that year. France's Rafi Bohic, won the welterweight title in 2017 and defended the belt four times. Moroccan-Belgian Youssef Boughanem won the middleweight title in 2018. Japan's Nadaka Yoshinari became mini flyweight champion in 2019, though he won the belt at an event in Japan. The last non-Thai fighter to win the belt was Jimmy Vienot in 2019 at middleweight.[citation needed] A number of non-Thais have achieved top 10 rankings within the stadium. Ramon Dekkers is one of the most renowned foreign fighters in Lumpinee history, but he never won the Lumpinee belt. Stéphane Nikiéma would have been the second foreign Lumpinee champion, but his title fight ended in a no-contest.

Current champions[edit]

Weight Class Champion Date won Days
Mini Flyweight Pon Paranchai December 6, 2019 1149
Light Flyweight Rak Erawan December 6, 2019 1149
Flyweight Vacant - -
Super Flyweight Chanalert Meenayothin December 13, 2019 1142
Bantamweight Kompetch Sitsarawatsuer May 10, 2019 1359
Super Bantamweight Prajanchai P.K.Saenchaimuaythaigym February 11, 2020 1082
Featherweight Vacant - -
Super Featherweight Songkom Bangkokalaiyont September 6, 2019 1240
Lightweight Nuathoranee Samchaivisetsuk November 30, 2019 1155
Super Lightweight Vacant - -
Welterweight Rafi Bohic February 27, 2018 1796
Super Welterweight Capitan Petchyindee Academy June 1, 2019 1337
Middleweight Sorgraw Petchyindee September 24, 2019 1222
Super Middleweight Kompikat Sor.Tawanrung December 2, 2017 1883

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Stadiums in Thailand". www.muaythaionline.org. Archived from the original on 26 October 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2008.
  2. ^ "Last Ever Show At Old Lumpinee Stadium 8th February 2014" (Video). YouTube. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  3. ^ "End of an era as Lumpini Boxing Stadium closes its doors on Friday". Phuket News.
  4. ^ "New Lumpini Stadium". Muay Thai Focus. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  5. ^ "History of Lumpinee". World Muay Thai Council. Archived from the original on 22 December 2007. Retrieved 20 January 2008.
  6. ^ "Executive Management; Board of Director". Lumpinee Muai Thai. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  7. ^ Mallon, Scott. "Lumpini Stadium Turns Fifty". The Sweet Science. Archived from the original on 5 July 2008. Retrieved 25 January 2008.
  8. ^ "Lumpini Stadium History". World Muay Thai Council. Retrieved 25 January 2008.
  9. ^ "Thailand reports 188 new coronavirus cases, brings total to nearly 600". Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  10. ^ Boonbandit, Tappanai (26 March 2020). "ARMY ORDERS PROBE IN SUPER-SPREADER BOXING MATCH". Khaosod English. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  11. ^ Prateepchaikul, Veera (30 March 2020). "Army's role in boxing a shady affair" (Opinion). Bangkok Post. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  12. ^ Nanuam, Wassana (14 March 2020). "Army welfare chief has virus, 60 quarantined". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  13. ^ "ยกเครื่อง สนามมวยลุมพินี ให้เอกชนทำเป็นครั้งแรกในรอบ 64 ปี". khaosod.co.th. Retrieved 18 February 2022.
  14. ^ "เขย่าสนาม : ก้าวย่างใหม่เวทีมวย 'ลุมพินี' 'รีแบรนด์' สู่ระดับนานาชาติ ประกาศล้างบางการพนัน!". matichonweekly.com. Retrieved 18 February 2022.
  15. ^ "นายสนามมวย "ลุมพินี" วอนสังคมเข้าใจ หลังกลับมาจัดมวยไทยอีกครั้งแบบปิด". thairath.co.th. Retrieved 18 February 2022.
  16. ^ "THE FIRST WOMEN'S FIGHTS AT LUMPINI: HOW WE GOT HERE AND WHAT'S NEXT". Under The Ropes. 19 November 2021. Retrieved 1 February 2022.
  17. ^ "Jade Ketley faces Apichat Fairtex in MMA card at Lumpinee". Asian MMA. 5 January 2022. Retrieved 1 February 2022.
  18. ^ "Jada Ketley submits Apidet Fairtex at Lumpinee Stadium". Asian MMA. 17 January 2022. Retrieved 1 February 2022.

External links[edit]