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Mouth-watering bouts in store : On February 23, 2007

Anticipation is already growing ahead of a special Muay Thai event "San Jai Thai Su Jai Tai (Unifying Thai hearts toward the South region)", which the organisers claim will be the biggest ever staged in Thailand.

The event, which will be held on March 8 at Rajdamnern stadium, is co-sanctioned by two Muay Thai international organisations, the World Boxing Council (WBC) Muay Thai and the World Muay Thai Council (WMC).

Well-known fighters from both Rajadamern and Lumpini venues feature in the event, which offers many mouth-watering bouts.

The highlight of the bill is an eagerly awaited encounter between top-ranked Thai boxers Chatchainoi and Pornsanae, with extra incentive of Bt1 million on offer for the winner. Apart from the all-Thai bout, the event also pits Asians against highly-rated Europeans, which promises to be exhilarating with both WBC and WMC titles on the line.

There will be a WMC title fight in the 72kg division between Russian challenger Arslan Magomedov and defending champion Wallop Sithporlek, which both believe they will win.

"The fight already has its own meaning. Being a special event, it has added spice. However, I'll do my best to win the bout," said the Thai ace Wallop.

The 25-year-old Magomedov said he did not feel intimidated despite facing an opponent from the native country of the sport.

 "I've thought only that I could win heading into each fight. I've trained hard in the past two months in Bangkok and I'm confident I will win," said Magomedov, who failed in his first attempt at the world title shot two years ago. The other intriguing bout is Ricardo van de Boss from the Netherlands versus Goran Vidakovic of Germany, who will battle it out for the WBC heavyweight title, a fight in the big division that is rarely seen in Thailand.

The event is split into two sessions - afternoon (4pm-6pm) and evening (8pm-10pm) - and all will be shown live on Channel 5 and Super Sport. Admission fee is Bt250 per person (the price covers both sessions).

The event is organised by the "Rak Muang Thai (Love Thailand)" foundation with an aim to raise funds for "San Jai Thai Su Jai Tai" and "Dream Pondok School" (Islamic religious school) projects.

The two projects are part of the government's initiatives to alleviate problems in the three southernmost provinces of the country, where an insurgent violence has claimed the lives of nearly 2,000 people since 2004.




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