Kick-off to stardom

Kick-off to stardom

Muay Thai boxer Antoine Pinto will be facing 15 of the world's best fighters in a reality TV show

November 04, 2012
October 21, 2012
October 21, 2012
October 21, 2012
October 14, 2012
October 14, 2012
October 14, 2012
October 14, 2012
October 07, 2012
October 07, 2012

20110914110852.jpg

Muay Thai fighter Antoine Pinto, 20, dubbed 'Kid Shark' in Thai, hopes competing in The Challenger Muay Thai will raise his profile.
Muay Thai fighter Antoine Pinto, 20, dubbed 'Kid Shark' in Thai, hopes competing in The Challenger Muay Thai will raise his profile.
Photo: AXN
Muay Thai fighters possess the most lethal leg kicks in martial arts. Although taekwondo kicks look more spectacular, they do not have the bone-on-bone impact of a tae tad, or Thai-style round kick.

Stand within striking range of a nak muay, or Thai boxer, and you will be overwhelmed by a flurry of deadly knees and razor-sharp elbows.

Antoine Pinto, aka Antuan Siangboxing, can tell you about that. Dubbed Dek Shlam, or "Kid Shark" in Thai, Pinto is only 20, yet he has more than 100 wins and 14 titles under his belt, including the eight-man I-1 World Muay Thai Grand Prix tournament in Hong Kong this April.

"I wake up at 6am every day and run about eight to 10km," Pinto tells Young Post from his home base in Thailand.

"Then I go back to the gym and train two hours, eat, rest and wake up at 3pm and go run again for 3 to 4km, [followed] by another three hours in the gym."

Despite all his accomplishments in the ring, it's his boyish good looks that give him extra appeal - particularly among female viewers of The Challenger Muay Thai.

The television programme will pit Pinto against 15 top Muay Thai fighters in the world.

Each of the 13 episodes will explore different Muay Thai techniques using fists, elbows, knees and feet.

Two fighters demonstrate them by fighting it out in the ring. The winner goes on to the next round; the loser goes home.

Pinto and the other fighters will be in Malaysia, living under the same roof. This group of feisty fighters should ensure great television.

The France-born Pinto moved to Thailand with his family 10 years ago. "My brother [Leo, also a Muay Thai fighter] and I had no friends here," he says. "But there was a little gym on the beach near our house. So we both went there to meet some boys and play around. I didn't know what was Muay Thai at all."

At first, he simply wanted to fit in by doing Muay Thai, but since then he has never looked back. He fought his first professional bout at 13. He quickly progressed and became junior champion of Southern Thailand in the 56kg category before he was 14.

Pinto says he decided to compete in The Challenger Muay Thai to pit himself against some of the world's best fighters. "If I win the first prize, maybe I'll set up a new gym in another country - perhaps Hong Kong or Singapore," he says.

The Challenger Muay Thai begins tomorrow at 10pm on AXN

Tag: 

Comments

To post comments please
register or