Contributor: Lucas Bourdon
Salle Japy, Paris, sometime in 1992.
It is the middle of the golden age of Muay Thai in France, TF1 (the biggest network television channel) and Canal+ (roughly equivalent to HBO) are both broadcasting Muay Thai events regularly. On one of these TF1 cards, a fight that, on paper, can only be described as a mismatch is about to take place. Samarth Galaxy Gym, a Thai veteran sporting a 139-5 record with 88 KO victories, is scheduled to face Dany Bill, a 18 year old coming in as a late replacement and making his class A debut with a 8-1 record in class B and C fights.
The first round starts and the commentary team makes it clear right away, Dany Bill isn’t supposed to win this. Apparently nobody bothered to warn him though and he shows great composure, checking or catching most of Samarth’s kicks and countering with low kicks of his own and even putting the Thai on his butt with a low kick off of a caught middle kick to win the round.
Samarth opened the second round looking to clinch with Bill and the two fought pretty evenly there for most of the round with a slight edge to Samarth although Dany Bill scored the best moves of the round with a nice throw and a direct knee from distance.
Dany Bill really starts to take over the fight and make it a show but throwing Samarth down three times with outside trips, another time by countering a middle kick with a low kick and scoring a nice combination of punches before hitting a nice middle kick after off balancing Samarth in the corner and finished the round by throwing in a flying knee attempt for good measure.
Samarth came out aggressively in the fourth but Bill dealt with it nicely, maintaining a tight defense and controlling the round with middle kicks. Dany Bill capped off a great performance in style by stunning Samarth with a southpaw right uppercut, prompting the referee to give Samarth a standing eight count and sending him to the ground twice with front kicks en route to a dominant decision.
The 18 year old scored a great upset and showed a wide array of techniques and a lot of promise while doing it. He made good on it by becoming the greatest French Nak Muay ever, a multiple time world champion and is considered in Thailand, along with the late Ramon Dekkers, as one of the best farangs to fight in the country. But that’s a story for another day and another installment of Muay Thai Classics.
-Lucas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on twitter @lucas_bourdon.