28 Feb

by Patrick Cusick (2007-02-28)

Thailand’s middleweight champion won the WBC Muaythai world title at London’s famous York Hall in front of a sell-out crowd in East London on Sunday night (editor’s note: 25 February GMT 2007).
A masterful Lamsongkram used superior tactics and Muaythai grappling technique to outclass defending world champion Steve Wakeling, the former unbeaten 23-year-old Englishman.
Wakeling went into the championship a hot favorite but – from the outset – found himself confronting a vice-like arm lock that effectively took away the reigning champion’s dazzling elbow strikes.
Wakeling won the WBC middleweight title against Australia’s legend fight John Wayne Parr’s with precision elbow strikes that cut through Parr’s defense.
But against Lamsongram – a taller, exceptionally fit, fast and powerful opponent – Wakeling was under extreme pressure from the opening bell.
To Wakeling’s credit he did show tremendous courage and kept on attacking despite being cut down by hard knee strikes from the Rajadamnern Stadium champion and was outgunned in the close, grappling contests.
Wakeling landed some hard punches onto his opponents jaw in the later rounds, but the strikes only made the 23-year-old Thai veteran of over 200 fights even more determined.
Lamsongkran said he was proud to have beaten Wakeling at the York “the fighting heart of London” and that he looked forward to a defending his title against Wakeling again either in London or Bangkok.
Wakeling said he was disappointed with his performance and would “fight better next time.” He admitted that he was out maneuvered by Lamsonkram’s powerful grappling and knee strike technique.
Wakeling, who rose to the top of Muaythai in the formidable WBC worldwide league with only 21 professional bouts to his credit, said he had learnt a lot from the experience from “fighting the best.”
“Lamsongkram is very good fighter. He beat me on the night. But we will meet again and I will improve.”
Both Lamsongkram and Wakeling are former S1 champions of the Muaythai Thai eight-fighter tournament fought each year for the King’s birthday in Bangkok.
The WBC world title was the first time that Wakeling and Lamsongkram have fought against each other. The contest was televised by Sky TV for broadcast throughout Europe.

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