A flying knee did it. Cornered, in a tight clinch, the fighter in red created enough space to slip a swift solid knee to the face of his opponent. Like the cherry tree George chopped, the fighter in blue fell, slowly, and then all at once.
He crashed silently but the crowd howled in unison to dub his drop. The referee raised the hand of the fighter in red while a couple of men picked the body of the fighter in blue like a lumpy sack of potatoes and carried him off on a stretcher.
Prior to this fight, another guy found himself waking up in the middle of the ring, face down, after receiving a series of vicious short elbows that opened the top of his left eye, then lights out. This one mustered the strength to stand up, after some time, and walk out of the ring, though probably still unsure what year is it.
This is the oldest fight stadium in Bangkok, the other popular one being Lumpinee Boxing Stadium. But unlike the latter that has moved to a new home, Rajadamnern remains to be the original arena, right at the old site.
It offers more than just a venue for Thai boxing. It is really a damn spectacular experience. I almost had a fit once I took my seat ringside (THB 2000) and did a 360 of the stadium. Amazeballs.
From where I am, it all seemed ordinary but in the bleachers, crazy is an understatement. Gambling is legal here and the people bet on fights like the fate of the world depended on it. Animated. Wild. As if possessed by the devil. As if the fighters were animals on a race or a cockfight.
This is my first time to watch a live muay thai event in Bangkok. Pretty special. I learned a lot of technique, saw devastating blows, dipped my hand in the traditions behind it. It is a lot like what we do back home, except cooler and more cultured.
Nobody defends much. Just eats strikes like french fries and done. If you are the one left standing in the end of five rounds, good on you. Now bring on the next fight.