This was a huge event amidst the ruins of the Ayutthaya Historical Park, the old capital of Siam. March 17th marks Wan Wai Nai Khanomtom, which is a day to honor Mr. Khanomtom, who is legendary for having been captured by the Burmese and winning his freedom through the art of Muay Thai, defeating 10 of the Burmese King’s best fighters subsequently. Fighting in this historical park, amidst towering monuments, felt very special. Ashley faced Kwanjai Sor. Tawanrung, who the announcer stated was “Female Fighter of the Year” last year, for the 122 lbs WPMF title. It’s a big day for both fighters to be representing themselves, their gym and their country, but also all fighters representing and paying respect to Thailand and Muay. These fights were televised and broadcast all across Thailand, so the commentary you hear is how it played on TV. I stood underneath some scaffolding (there was a TV cameraman standing on the platform over my head) and watched from Ashley’s corner, behind a row of her Kaewsamit teammates. There was cheering and yelling from both corners, but the pace from Ashley picked up in the 4th and 5th rounds and it became very exciting, with most of the energy coming from our side of the ring as spectators and teammates pulsed with the energy Ashley was putting out in the ring. This is the fight for the 122 lb WPMF belt between Ashley (defending belt holder) and Kwanjai that happened on the Wai Nai Khanomtom festival in Ayutthaya, a card I was on as well.
Interview with Ashley Nichols at Kaewsarmit Gym, Bangkok
I had wanted to re-interview Ashley, because the sound quality from our first interview wasn’t ideal and it’s always a better interview when the interviewer (me) and interviewee (Ashley) are a bit more familiar, which a second interview would allow. We’d planned to do the second interview after Ashley’s fight, but it just wasn’t in the stars that day. I do hope to get another interview with her, but for now the points she does touch on in the first interview are important and interesting enough to share it, despite the difficulty with the sound. So here’s our first meeting at her gym in Bangkok Kaewsamrit:
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