A native of the north-eastern province of Buri Ram and a cousin of Lalisa Manoban, aka “Lisa” of the girl band “Blackpink”, has become Thailand’s first female kick boxer to win the K-1 World Grand Prix championship in Japan on Saturday.
Chanthakan Manoban, defeated her Japanese opponent, Mio, by a 2 to 1 vote from the referees in the semi-final. In the final round on Saturday, at the Yoyogi national gymnasium in Tokyo, she triumphed over her Japanese opponent, Sue Kawara Miyu,who had a height and other advantages over her. After four rounds, the referees gave her a 2 to 1 vote, which landed her the K-1 championship in the 45kg class.
A few Thai boxers have won the K-1 championship in Japan, among them are Buakaw Banchamek, Kaew Weerasakreck and Kongnapa Weerasakreck, from the Weerasak Lek Gym camp.
K-1 kick boxing is a fight format which combines the most skilful and effective elements of all martial arts, even if the “K” in its name refers to just three of them, namely karate, kick boxing and kung-fu. The “1” denotes the best.
K-1 is now the biggest spectator sport in Japan, because it is designed to be very tough to practice, but thrilling and easy to watch. Fighters are allowed to use their hands, feet and knees,but without head butting or elbow strikes. A match normally consists of five rounds of three minutes each.