Our View: The historic moment the world focused on Irish Muay Thai
Regardless of what happens next – 2018 has already been unprecedented.
Irish sports scribes have a greater chance of interviewing Donald Trump than they do of speaking with one of their own boxers.
Those who followed Michael Conlan and Carl Frampton around the world are now being tossed aside by Mack the Knife Global – who believe Irish media give unfair coverage.
Despite the ban – boxing will always make the news.
But what about Muay Thai?
If you blinked at the wrong time on Saturday (February 3) you would have missed history being made.
Those traveling to Cork’s Neptune Stadium for the Siam Warriors Superfights knew they would see something special.
Spectators crave the thrilling three or five rounds of beautiful brutality where the pace is like Usain Bolt running for gold or Ali and Frazier giving attack after attack.
But what happened shocked us all.
Nobody expected for the world’s media to become engrossed in a single exchange in a C-Class contest.
ESPN sharing Robby Drought’s TKO of Mark Frazer was validation for every Irish fighter who uses their eight limbs to express who they are.
Millions watched and interacted. All eyes fixated on what happened in a basketball stadium in Cork during a Thai show. Who saw that happening?
I’ve never been smacked with a shin or sliced open with an elbow – but I know that Irish Muay Thai fighters don’t pursue the sport for money or fame.
But did that viral video change things? It might never happen again. But at least it gave hope.
Hope that one day Ryan Sheehan can perform with such intensity and skill and see his name printed on the back page of a national newspaper the following morning.
How deserved would that be?
There are hundreds and hundreds of fights, all freely available, on Fightstore Media.
Muay Thai in Ireland is growing steadily. There are thousands of rounds to be fought before reaching similar heights to other combat sports.
But for one day – and even if it will only ever be one day – Muay Thai in Ireland stood alongside American football, NBA and soccer – as a moment in history was broadcast around the world.
To the Irish Muay Thai community– keep fighting. We will be documenting every step of the way.
Thank you Jerry McCarthy/KO Media for the photo.