I’m working on improving Dieselnoi’s wikipedia page which for a long time was quite bare, and held some mis-information. There just isn’t much authoritative on Dieselnoi in English. I text with him pretty regularly, maybe 3 days a week, on other things, and have started asking for clarifications and acquiring new information to at least keep the record straight. For a long time, for instance, the English speaking Internet was under the impression that he had lost two of his late career fights vs Sagat Petchyindee, when in fact he had won both of them. Part of what I hope to do with the Preserve The Legacy project is to create an archive of the oral histories that make up the actual knowledge of events in the Muay Thai world from the Golden Age on.
A stepping stone in this was to translate this small one-page Dieselnoi biography that was published in a Japanese magazine or manual on Muay Thai, and then to cross-check some of those details with Dieselnoi himself. I’ll keep editing this page as new details arrive.
The digital copy I had is not super clean, so the translator I used, the wife of MMA reporter Charlie Jewett, had a hard time with some of the characters, but did a great job of pulling out as much detail as possible; at least we have a barebones sketch of his life. This is the translation, amended with some corrections from my communications with Dieselnoi himself:
History of the Grand Champion
My practice, fighting spirit, and the cool mind made me an invincible king. The guide to Name an invincible king, in his own words. I started Muay Thai at 13. My brother really liked Muay Thai. My brother isn’t a fighter, but because of his influence, I became a fighter. (Cannot read this sentence ???) My weight at that time was about 32 Kilo. When I came to Bangkok, I was 15. Rajadamunan was the first place I went to. From that time I was tall. I was by far the best pinweight. My speciality, of course, was the right knee. Now, I am  cm and 70kg so people may be surprised when they hear that I started at pinweight, but in Thailand there are no age restrictions, so all the famous fighters start at a young age. Even [Samart] and [Chamuakpet] started at pinweight, everyone does, then they go up classes as their body grows. My record is [119 fights], with  wins, 5 loses [one of these was from a pro boxing fight], and 4 draws. Amongst those are some matches that I remember. The hardest matches were my three with Wichannoi. Wichannoi is a legendary hero in Thailand, he was the flyweight champion of Raja and Lumpinee and the jr flyweight champion of Raja. His punches and left middle were amazing, people still think so. I beat such a great fighter. I beat him once and lost to him twice, but the fights with him were my best bouts. I also fought tough fighters outside of Wichannoi. For example, I fought the Lumpinee flyweight champion Kaopong, beating him twice and losing once, Padejseuk, I beat three times and lost once. Kronsak, I beat him once and drew once. Raktae and Sagat, I beat them as well. I fought with Samart in 1982, I beat Kaopong and became a champion, then Samart and i didn’t have any opponents. I beat Samart by decision, I thought I might beat him by KO but he was my friend. Lol. I fought Sennseukura at Lumpinee [?], he was the Thai Champion there. I lost twice by KO [in boxing?]. That was it for me and boxing. Lol. Since I got frustrated with that, I wanted to fight Sennsekura in the Muay Thai ring somehow, but he didn’t want to do it. For 4 years I had the title, but no challenger appeared. That is why I gave up the title and retired. My last fight was with Sonnon, who was called the Green Boy. Sonnon wanted to fight, so that is why I fought him. I think I have become so strong because I really like Muay Thai and I have practiced and learned techniques more than your average fighter. I always had a fighting spirit and a calm demeanor. In the beginning, I wasn’t even good at the knee that I am best known for. I practiced repeatedly after seeing the skills of top athletes. I trained my mind, head, and spirit and I got the second Thai national award. And now, I am dedicated to my juniors so that I can pass down the skills I learned. My disciples are strong. For example Chamuakpet and Panomtuanlek. Among the young fighters, in Raja’s bantam class there is a 10th ranked Nobbakau [?] who is good. When Kausai [?] did Muay Thai, I was one of his coaches. I became a coach when I was 24, as far as if I have any regrets in the ring, I got tired of fighting. Lol., this is a joke, I wanted to fight more but there were no opponents. I wasn’t sure if I could fight or not, but I still practiced everyday, for many years, no one would like that right? So I gave up. My dream now is to do something like own my own restaurant. But if I can find an opponent in my division, and Habaran Gym’s boss gave me the ok, I would come back. After all, I like fighting in the ring best.
If you’d like to support my research into the history of Thailand’s Muay Thai consider becoming a patron
The End of Dieselnoi’s Fight Career 1982-1985
Fighting Samart Payakaroon, Sagat Petchyindee and Kickboxing
There has been some obscurity around the end of Dieselnoi’s career, which is broadly described as running out of opponents, as he held the 135 lb Lumpinee title since winning it from powerful Muay Maat Kaopong Sittichuchai in 1981, a heavy handed fighter. This fight for the belt was their 3rd fight against each other. In their first fight Kaopong was knocked out by Dieselnoi by knees, in their second fight Kaopong knocked him out by punches.
After he beat Kaopong for the 135 lb Lumpinee title he had such a hard time finding opponents he took his first and only western boxing match 8 months later, vs Saengsakda who KO’d Dieselnoi in the 2nd round at Lumpinee Stadium. Clearly boxing was not Dieselnoi’s sport.
In April of 1982, going more than a year without a Muay Thai fight, he would join the Thai team in the World Free-Style Martial Arts Championships at Rajadamnern, a team stacked with top Thai talent to thwart the ambition of Japanese kickboxers who wanted to prove their metal against the Thais. Kaopong, Dieselnoi and Nongkhai were a phalanx of destruction.
Two fights from the Free-Style championships:
Diesenoi said of this fight it felt very relaxed, it felt like training.
Facing the 1981 Fighter of the Year Samart
With no Thai opponents willing to face Dieselnoi for his belt at 135 lb for almost 2 years he then fought a hugely anticipated catch-weight fight vs Samart Payakaroon on December 24th, 1982. Samart, was widely thought to be the best fighter in Thailand, winner of the previous Fighter of the Year, and now is regarded as perhaps the best in history. You can hear all about that fight, and indeed watch it with Dieselnoi’s commentary here: Dieselnoi vs Samart with commentary You can read about that fight here, as well. Samart was the 126 lb Lumpinee champion and weighed in at 132 lbs. Diesenoi weighed in at 129.7 just to prove the point that he could have fought at 130 lb, which people had said he couldn’t. Dieselnoi took home the largest fight purse in history 400,000 baht, and won the fight going away. He was also awarded the Fighter of the Year in 1982.
Beating Sagat Petchyindee
Diesenoi would not have an opponent again until he fought the powerful Sagat Petchyindee on June 7th, 1984, going 18 months without a fight. The fight again was at Rajadamnern Stadium at catch-weight, 132 lbs [according to Dieselnoi]. Dieselnoi won by points. Sagat was the Lumpinee 130 lb champion in these years, I’ve been told.
After his 1st fight with Sagat Dieselnoi would then travel internationally to fight in America against the kickboxer John Moncayo, you can see the fight here: Dieselnoi vs Moncayo. (Dieselnoi says that at one point there was a fight offered to kickboxer Peter Cunningham, but Cunningham’s camp refused, no matter the weight advantage offered – even up to 145 lbs.) In this fight with Moncayo Diesenoi says that there was no fixed weight that he can recall, but believes that Moncayo was about 7 kg bigger on the scale Moncayo had fought Rob Kamon at 73 kg (160 lbs) so he was a big man. The agreement was that the advantage could be no more than 5 kgs, so Dieselnoi weighed in wearing long pants and a jacket to keep the weight close enough. This was a modified rules fight, no elbows.
Then there would then be a rematch with Sagat on October 6, 1984 in Ubon Ratchathani, with no weigh-in. Dieselnoi says Sagat definitely was heavier. Again Dieselnoi won on points. You can see highlight clips from this fight here.
Dieselnoi had not only shutdown the 135 lb division, but he also beat the best 126 lb fighter Thailand has ever known in Samart, cutting below 130, and then he’d gone up and beat likely the most formidable next weight fighter in the country in Sagat, who had held the 135 lb Lumpinee belt, and the 140 lb Rajadamnern belt, beating him twice.
The Last Two Fights vs Krongsak
Dieselnoi’s final two fights in Thailand were against Krongsak Prakong-Boranrat. Krongsak was a monster. He did not have the political, or perhaps financial pull to fight for a belt at this time, but he tells me that he had beaten Sagat three times: at 130 lbs, 133 lbs, and 136 lbs. Dieselnoi’s first fight vs Krongsak was at Rajadamnern Stadium, August 8th, 1985. Krongsak fought him to a draw, a fight Krongsak felt that he had in fact won. The fight was at 138 lbs. Three months later on November 12th, 1985 they rematched at Lumpinee, again at 138 lbs (these weights confirmed by Krongsak). This fight Krongsak told me wasn’t close. He said that Dieselnoi had made an adjustment and stopped pressing him, instead turning to the teep, and Krongsak had no answer. This victory ended Dieselnoi’s career in Thailand. He was still technically 23 years of age, his birthday would not be for more than a month.
A note on Dieselnoi and the 135 lb weightclass. Dieselnoi says that 132 lbs was his true fight weight in these years, that when he fought at 135 lbs he was actually fight up, He said that when he fought regularly though, and trained full time, he could reach 130 lbs “easily”. When he fought Samart the fight was arranged very quickly, he had not been fighting for many months, so the weight cut was particularly harsh, fast and brutal.
The Final Fights of Dieselnoi look to be like this:
- January 1981 (just turned 19): beat Kaopong for the 135 lb Lightweight Lumpinee Belt
- August 4th, 1981: Fights his first and only western boxing fight at Lumpinee stadium. Loses to Saengsakda Kitikasem by 2nd round KO.
- April 25, 26 & 29, 1982 (age 20) idle 15 months in Muay Thai: World Free-style Martial Arts Championships – wins the 135 lb title, at Rajadamnern Stadium
- December 24th, 1982 (about to turn 21) idle 8 months: defeats Samart Payakaroon at 132 lbs catch-weight, Lumpinee Stadium
- 1982 Sports Writers Association of Thailand Fighter of the Year Award
- June 7th, 1984 (age 22) idle 17 months: defeats Sagat Petchyindee at 132 lbs catch-weight, at Rajadamnern Stadium
- Summer of 1984: defeats kickboxer John Moncayo in America giving up (technically) 5 kgs, but likely much more. (No elbows.)
- October 6th, 1984 (still 22): defeats Sagat Petchyindee on points, no weigh-in, in Ubon Ratchathani
- August 8th, 1985 idle 10 months: draws with Krongsak Prakong-Boranrat at Rajadamnern Stadium, at 138 lbs
- November 12, 1985 (still 23): beats Krongsak Prakong-Boranrat at Lumpinee Stadium, at about 138 lbs – final fight in Thailand.
Dieselnoi would have a show fight vs a Japanese champion, Koshikawa, around 1986-87 in Japan.
Notes on career losses and draws: In his entire career Diesenoi had lost by KO only twice. Once in Muay Thai by Kaopong, and once in his only boxing fight, vs Saensak Da (2nd round). He had only 5 losses in Muay Thai: twice to Wichannoi (record vs 1-2), and once to Padejseuk by cut (4-1), Kaopong (2-1) and Prawit. He had only 1 draw, that vs Krongsak in his 2nd to last fight. There is a slight discrepancy in the number of losses in various sources, but as Dieselnoi has listed the names of people he lost to 5 is likely accurate. 110 wins, and 60 KOs are likely round guesses.
Note: all of the above is a combination of previously recorded statements, and Dieselnoi’s own present day recollections.
I’ll be editing errors, adding in historical details and photographs on this page, that help build the picture of his remarkable career.