INTERVIEW WITH SINGPATONG CAMP MANAGER M. SOMNUEK PHATBURI (NUMNOI) (2019)

BY SERGE TREFEU

 

 

 

Serge TREFEU: Hello, thank you for giving me this interview and how are you?

MR. SOMNUEK PHATBURI : Hello. I’m fine. Thank you for having me

 

You have been in the Muay Thai world for a very long time, as a boxing camp owner, manager and promoter. Before, were you a professional Muay Thai fighter?

Yes, I was a professional fighter since I was young and I still wanted to be involved with Muay Thai growing up so I started the first camp in 1995 named Sitnumnoi

 

You grew up in which region?

In the southern province Phatthalung

 

In your family, were there boxers?

Yes, three of my older brothers took Muay Thai before me. My nephew was also a boxer and now one of the trainers at Singpatong Gym

 

How did you discover Muay Thai?

When I was young around my neighborhood, it was common for boys to pick up Muay Thai. I tried Muay Thai after my brother and I enjoyed doing it. It became my interest since

 

You started training at Singpatong Gym?

I firstly came to Phuket and Singpatong Gym when I was 19 for my fight. I came back to Phuket to work as a head coach at Sor Jor Suwit Gym. But then my partner and respected brother Somsak Julaka, a landlord and a former head superviser of Singpatong Gym, asked me if I would come and run the gym after its being closed. I was at my 30s at that time and it was a greater path of my career in Muay Thai. I used to run my own gym and a stadium back in Phatthalung so I was confident about doing it again in Phuket

 

At Singpatong, were you a coach at the beginning?

I was very much trusted by Somsak who asked me without any doubt to come and run his place as a head of the gym since the beginning

 

When did you become manager of the Singpatong Gym?

In 2007 or so

 

Who was the first champion you managed at Singpatong?

Ronganan Sorjorsuwit was the first successful fighter I had. He earned the championship title from Channel 9 Stadium and a runner up from Omnoi Stadium. He was in my gym since I was in Phatthalung and practically my son in Muay Thai blood

 

Who are the champions who have represented your gym since you were the leader of Singpatong?

There have been many, Roonganun Sorjorsuwit, Thongsuk Singpatong, Penaik Sitnumnoi, Penthai Singpatong, Damien Alamos, Rafi Singpatong, Sameanthep Por Phetsiri (Present)

 

The champion of the Singpatong who has the most title is Penaik?

Penaik Sitnumnoi had won the highest number and significant titles. He received a royal trophy from King Rama X (earlier known as Prince Vajiralongkorn) from Sports Reporter Association of Thailand for the best fighter of year!

 

One of the first foreign champions you had in your gym was Damien Alamos. When Damien Alamos was fighting for your gym, did you ever think he’d ever become Lumpinee champion?

Most of the fighters started with us from zero. All of our great fighters had passed tough times aiming to get better and to pursue a higher status. Our training team has been looking for fighters with the right energy and dedication, not necessary with previous skills and ranking. So it is very important that our fighters share the same mindset from day one. And Damien is one of our motivated fighters who we are proud of

 

Damien Alamos gives lessons in your gym now?

He does come by to give lessons at Singpatong when he is in Phuket

 

Today you have the French champion Rafi Bohic, currently one of the best fighters in Thailand, he also became champion of the Lumpinee. For Rafi, you also felt that he could become champion of the Lumpinee when he started fighting for the Singpatong?

Like most of our foreign figthers, Rafi started with us from basics. But I was very impressed by his passion for Muay Thai and his fighter spirit since his early fights. His 9th fight was with Saenchai and it’s very remarkable. We and the audiences even thought he could have won. He picked up very quickly from his devotion and commitment

 

RAFI SINGPATONG WITH NUMNOI

 

You also have at the Singpatong the French Arthur Meyer who is a very good fighter, will he ever have a chance to fight for a belt of a big stadium of Bangkok?

Arthur has shown his potentials to be matched with other renowned fighters for events in Bangkok and I am positive about him going further on a greater path. His Muay Thai techniques are outstanding and those also make his fight very memorable, even to Thai fans. Especially his fight with Wanchalong PK Saenchai last year!

 

RAFI BOHIC AND ARTHUR MEYER WITH NUMNOI, THE TWO BIG FOREIGN CHAMPIONS OF SINGPATONG GYM

 

Two French Singpatong champions of Lumpinee, it is thanks to their reputation that many French now come to train in your gym?

There are big influences from our fighter reputation to bringing in new French students to the gym. Also, a lot of students gave positive words on their experience in our training and the improvement they gained. That’s how we keep

 

You have also become a major promoter in the south, have you organized boxing shows for a long time?

Yes, for several years, in the south of the country and in Bangkok

 

You have worked with the French promoter Mr. Djamel Yacouben, how many times have you organized events with him?

We worked together five times for events in the Lumpinee stadium and once for an event in France. And our collaboration has always gone well, we will continue to work for big events in Bangkok

 

Thank you very much for this interview

Thank you for your passion for Muay Thai

 

 

The Singpatong Gym was founded by Somsak Junlaka a former professional boxer. The camp is located on the island of Phuket in the south of the country. The Singpatong Gym is in the hills of Patong Beach. Sing means “Lion” for power and Patong refers to the island’s most famous seaside resort, Patong Beach. The Singpatong Gym has been in existence since 1971, the owner is Somsak.

 

THE SINGPATONG GYM IS AN AUTHENTIC, TYPICAL SOUTH THAILAND MUAY THAI CAMP

 

SINGPATONG GYM IS ONE OF THE MOST KNOWN CAMPS IN SOUTH THAILAND

 

THE SINGPATONG GYM IS OFTEN IN THE THAILAND SPECIALIZED NEWSPAPERS

 

This camp produced great champions such as Singphaïboun (Thailand champion), Phun Louang Singpatong (Thailand champion, South champion), Thoungsuk Singpatong (Winner of the TV7 Tournament), Singsuk Suwitgym (Winner of the Windy Sport Tournament), Ronganan Sorjorsuwit (Winner of the TV9 Tournament, 3 times South champion) and Penthai Singpatong (Lumpinee champion, TV7 champion, Thailand champion).

 

NUMNOI WITH PENTHAI AFTER HIS VICTORY FOR THE TITLE OF LUMPINEE IN 112 LBS

 

Penaik Sitnumnoi was the most successful champion of the Singpatong, he won six belts including three of the four most important stadiums in Bangkok. He won the Omnoi stadium belt in 126 lbs, the Lumpinee belt in 126 lbs and 130 lbs, the champion belt TV7 in 130 lbs, the 126 lbs Thai Champion Belt and the 126 lbs WPMF World Champion Belt. In 2011, Penaik was voted "Best Boxer of the Year" by the prestigious association The Sport Writers Association of Thailand!

 

NUMNOI WITH PENAIK AFTER HIS VICTORY FOR THE OMNOI TITLE IN 126 LBS

 

NUMNOI WITH HIS PENAIK CHAMPION JUST BEFORE PENAIK GOES ON THE RING FOR THE LUMPINEE BELT IN 130 LBS

 

PENAIK SITNUMNOI WAS TWICE LUMPINEE CHAMPION IN THE 126 LBS AND 130 LBS CATEGORY

 

NUMNOI WITH PENAIK AFTER HIS VICTORY FOR THE TITLE OF LUMPINEE IN 130 LBS

 

The young French prodigy Damien Alamos (WMC and WPMF world champion) won his Lumpinee champion belt in 140 lbs with the Singpatong camp. On February 10, 2012, Damien Alamos stole his belt from the 140 lbs Lumpinee champion, Kongfah Aodonmuang. At 21, he managed an exceptional performance that made him forever enter the history of Muay Thai. After the French Morad Sari, who had won the title in 1999, Damien Alamos was the second foreigner in the world to achieve this feat. He made it even stronger by successfully defending his Lumpinee title twice.

 

DAMIEN "SINGKHAO" SINGPATONG LUMPINEE CHAMPION

 

DAMIEN ALAMOS, NUMNOI, PENAIK SITNUMNOI, PENTHAI SITNUMNOI

 

Singpatong Gym now has great champions like Rafi Singpatong, Sameanthep Por Phetsiri and Pompetch Sitnumnoi.

Rafi "Singpatong" Bohic (Lumpinee Champion, WBC and WMC World Champion, Winner of the Muay Thai Fury Tournament, Max Muay Thai Silver Belt Tournament Winner) is the current Lumpinee champion in 147 lbs, a belt he won against Pongsiri PK Saenchai in 2017 and which he kept against Simanoot Sor Suriya, Dylan Salvador (KO), Petchkankat Mor Uden, Tananchai Rajanon (Victory by KO in France, unofficial in Thailand) and Manachai Yokkaosaenchai (KO). Frenchman Rafi Singpatong, 28 years old, is the only foreigner in the world to have won the illustrious Lumpinee title six times!

 

RAFI SINGPATONG

 

Sameanthep Por Phetsiri, 18 years old, is from Koh Lanta Island, trained at Por Phetsiri Camp in Krabi, now training and fighting for Singpatong Gym. This slender Muay Khao is the current Lumpinee champion in 112 lbs, a belt he won by knockout against Neuaphet Keelasport, on September 24, 2019. Sameanthep also won the Lumpinee belt in 105 lbs, a title that he won on November 30, 2018 against Ittiphol Singmawin.

 

SAMEANTHEP LUMPINEE CHAMPION IN 112 LBS AND 105 LBS

 

SAMEANTHEP WITH NUMNOI

 

Pompetch Sitnumnoi is 21 years old, he is from Prakonchai in the Buriram region in the North East, Pompetch was TV7 champion at 17 years old, in 2015, he won the TV7 belt in 102 lbs against Ekkachai Sor Jor Lekmeuangnonpayayap. He fought before under the name of Pomphet Singbaansang before joining the Singpatong Gym camp.

 

POMPETCH SITNUMNOI TV7 CHAMPION

 

POMPETCH WITH NUMNOI AT TV7 STADIUM

 

Mr. Somnuek Phatburi alias Numnoi is now the manager and head coach of the Singpatong Gym, he has extensive experience in the Muay Thai with 150 fights to his credit and years of teaching as a confirmed coach.

 

THE PROMOTER M. SOMNUEK PHATBURI PETCHNUMNOI PROMOTION

 

Numnoi is also one of the biggest promoters in southern Thailand. It often organizes in Phuket and throughout the southern region. Also, Numnoi has set up big promotions at the stadium of Lumpinee in collaboration with the biggest current promoter of Lumpinee Mr. Phirapong Theradeatpong (Chun Kietpetch). He also works with Mr. Somsak (Promoter in Lumpinee), Mr. Lek (Promoter in Lumpinee and Camp Sitnumnoi Manager in Bangkok) and Australian lawyer Michelle Hawryluk (First Honorary Consul at the Australian Embassy, Boxing Promoter in Phuket) who is married with Numnoi.

 

PETCHNUMNOI PROMOTION IN PHUKET

 

PETCHNUMNOI AND CHUN KIETPETCH PROMOTION AT THE LUMPINEE STADIUM

 

THE PROMOTER MME MICHELLE HAWRYLUK

AND HUSBAND M. SOMNUEK PHATBURI (NUMNOI)

 

Numnoi also organized large meetings in the stadium of Lumpinee with the French promoter Mr. Djamel Yacouben, the creator of the Prestige Fight event.

 

PETCHNUMNOI AND PRESTIGE FIGHT PROMOTION AT THE LUMPINEE STADIUM

 

RAFI BOHIC AND ARTHUR MEYER CHAMPIONS, NUMNOI AND DJAMEL YACOUBEN PROMOTERS, DANIEL ALLOUCHE SPEAKER THE VOICE

 

PETCHNUMNOI AND PRESTIGE FIGHT PROMOTION IN FRANCE ON OCTOBER 12, 2018

 

PETCHNUMNOI AND PRESTIGE FIGHT PROMOTION ON SEPTEMBER 24 AT THE LUMPINEE STADIUM FOR THE BELT OF WORLD CHAMPION WBC DIAMOND, DJAMEL YACOUBEN, LUIS CAJAIBA, NUMNOI, VALENTIN THIBAULT, HADJ BETTAHAR

 

MUAYDEETSPORT

MUAY TIES

Lumpinee Stadium