Young Farang Guys Starting Fights in CM Boxing Stadium
Conventional wisdom here in Thailand says that if a foreigner has a dispute with a Thai, and it escalates into violence, every Thai in the area will immediately come to the aid of their fellow (Thai) country man.
Well, perhaps not…
This past Thursday I was catching up with an old friend and after a few beers in the bars on Loy Kroh Road, we ventured into the Boxing Stadium (correct name?) the beer bar complex further down Loy Kroh, with the Mike’s Hamburger stand located at the entrance.
My buddy and I sat at a table with a good view of the boxing ring, not that we were really interested in watching the fake fighting. We were catching up, laughing a lot and not really attuned to our surroundings when my buddy motioned towards the boxing ring. One of three young, twenty-something farang guys was at the ring motioning that he wanted to challenge one of the Thais to box. At first it seemed to be all in good fun, a prank if you will, and we began observing the group.
The farang guy takes off his shirt and pants and gets gloved up. He is maybe 6’2” and around 200 pounds, a big guy. His buddies are egging him on so he and another guy who is equally tall but slimmer go to the ring. Now they start talking trash with the Thais and become aggressive. The fighter to be walks back to his table but his pal pushes one of the Thai boxers hard and the Thai guy –caught off guard- reels backwards around 10 paces.
The Thai is rightfully enraged and comes forward and gives the farang a kick, but the farang guy does not go down. Several other Thais rush forward… but to restrain their fellow Thai, not to gang up on the ill mannered farang!
The Thai boxer now points to the ring and no knowledge of Thai language is required. His gestures convey “Get in the ring and we will settle this.” The farang guy walks back to his table and joins his buddies. They are whooping it up, obviously pleased with their antics.
My buddy and I look at each other with a “what the f*&$?” expression and shake our heads. We have both spent time here and pretty much subscribed to the conventional wisdom that if a foreigner picks a fight with a Thai, the whole neighborhood will jump in. Sometimes you don’t even have to start trouble, just dispute a bill or something and whammo. However, we had just personally witnessed over the top behavior by farangs and nothing but restraint on the part of the Thais. Amazing Thailand indeed.
I apologize that this post is becoming too long so I’ll spare you some innuendo and fast forward a bit.
Surprisingly the next match is two Thais, the same old fake muay Thai that tourists enjoy. A brief break –maybe so the farangs will check bin and leave?- then the farang is politely invited to enter the ring. They put up their smallest Thai boxer against him, some guy, looking 30+ maybe 5’2” and 120 pounds, what a mismatch!
The referee lays out the rule and the Thai boxer holds up his gloves in the pre fight good sportsmanship/shaking hands gesture. The farang idiot refuses to touch gloves and walks proudly to his corner. The bell rings and he comes charging out. The Thai guy is trying to avoid him, thinking that this idiot just wants his photo taken and bragging rights back home, but no, the farang kid is serious. He lands some hard punches on the Thai guy and overpowers him. He grapples the Thai and even elbows the ref in the mouth before being pulled off.
The “match” is a couple of rounds and is stopped after the little Thai guy claims that the farang bit him. I’m not certain whether anyone bit anyone but the fight needed to be stopped any way. If this isn’t enough, his buddy jumps up ring side and begins aping the Thais, indicating that they are monkeys!
WTF, we figure it's time to leave before the riot but there is still no aggression on the part of the Thais. An elderly Thai auntie has had enough and she walks out with a cane, waving it at the foolish farangs and threatening to give them a hiding.
My buddy and I are in disbelief. The looks on many Thai faces is one of outrage and it doesn’t look like an act, as in the vein of this was a concocted ruse to gain sympathy and yes, tips. I let my eyes drift over to the young farangs' table and see the “fighter” relishing his adventure, his monkey aping pal still going strong but one guy did have some decency within and was looking ashamed and being quiet.
Anyway, my buddy and I check bin and leave, walking to a bar closer to the entrance. We order and guess who comes in? Yes it's our three heroes from the boxing ring. No one bothers them and they have toned down their bad behavior… but they are still here.
I know the locals have long memories and the bamboo telegraph is very efficient. Those morons might yet get a lesson in manners, when they least expect it.
Irrespective of race or location, the behaviour of these young guys is just plain poor form. That they are doing it in another country where it's no secret that the locals don't appreciate that sort of carry on is disrespectful and moronic.