|Soren Monkongtong is Australia’s most technically
skilled fighter. He attracted international attention as one of the
most popular fighters on the first ever Muay Thai reality TV show – “The
Contender Asia”. He made it through to the 12th
episode of the 15 episode series. Still, most important to him was gaining
respect in the home of Muay Thai - Thailand.
He did that, in the final years of his career, by living, training and
fighting in Bangkok. Of his 17 years Muay Thai
experience, three years were spent on the Bangkok circuit, out of the Eminent Air Gym, Sukhumvit 101, Prakanong. In Thailand he fought at all the major stadiums. Fighting Johmod Kiatadisak, Joe Spain and Monkong at Lumpini Stadium.
He was the main event at Ratchadarmnum Stadium, against Ratchadarmnum champion Lerkmonkong. He fought five times live on Channel 7, on prime time Sunday afternoon television, which is a record number of appearances for any foreign fighter. There he fought Ro-bert, Ornono Por Muang Ubon – the Thai legend. Konjak - for the WMPF World title. Sudsukkorn - the Channel 7 Champion. Joe Spain - as the semi main event, a first for two foreign fighters. “I fight in those places and it means a lot to me when people come up and say they appreciate how I box. As a foreigner, gaining the respect of the Thai people is something I really value.”
In his final year he fought and beat Sean Wright for the Intercontinental Title. He fought Konjak again for the WMPF World Title and in his final fight fought and beat Bruce ‘The Preacher’ Mcphee, in his home town, Brisbane, on Evolution 19. He is now working with Nugget out of NTG (Nugget’s Thaiboxing Gym). He has been with Nugget from day one, 17 years ago. Soren is helping the younger fighters coming up and he is also teaching Muay Thai as a Personal Trainer. “Not everyone is a fighter but still there are lessons to be learnt in Muay Thai that can be used in everyday life! Muay Thai can be for everyone. You can challenge yourself, mentally and physically. You get to know yourself better. You can learn to control yourself and improve concentration, mental alertness and co-ordination!”
“People sometimes think that fighting is about being angry and losing
control, but it’s quite the opposite. A calm and
In 2003 Soren went to live and fight in Bangkok. He had his first fight at Lumpini Stadium but because of health problems had to take some time off to build his strength .
In 2004 Soren returned to Australia and fought the stars of the day such as Ben ‘Pixie’ Burton. He fought in Japan at Corican Hall, beating Kinami, ‘The Shark’, in the 4th round with TKO knee. He also won the Chawang Stadium Title in Thailand, knocking out Nindum in the first round. Soren then fought in the K-1 Max in Japan in front of 16 000 fans! He fought names such as Pet tuc sin and John Wayne Parr. He broke his hand in the first round against Pet tuc sin and lost on points. He rematched him later that year and won by KO punches.
At the start of 2007 Soren went to Thailand. He trained at Eminent Air Gym in Bangkok under Mr Somboon. His first fights were at the smaller stadiums such as Tepisett (Fairtex) Stadium, before developing a Thai style, and then fighting on the Bangkok circuit at the major stadiums.