The 1st of March, 2016, is to see the first professional Muay Thai event broadcasted live from Coral Beach Hotel, Jnah, Lebanon. Leading up to this event we sat down with Grand Master Sami Kiblawi the President of the Muay Thai Federation, to hear the details of the night that will be remembered as a turning point within the sport and within Lebanon.
“Different coaches and clubs would ask me why aren’t there any professional Muay Thai events within Lebanon? The professional side tends not to have so much publicity, so the idea of Beirut Fight Night was born, through the company of Shogun Promotions, and after four months here we are. The first stage in Lebanon, the focus is on Muay Thai.”
Beirut Fight Night 1 is the first of its kind. It is to be a night of 11 bouts, with fighters from Lebanon, Thailand, Cyprus, Greece, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq competing. Taking the spot light no doubt will be the World’s Title fight between Lebanon’s very own Ahmad Ondash from Team Shogun and Thailand’s Silatong Nambuntib . Each professional fight consists of 5 rounds of 3 minutes of grueling power and technical ability. There are also Pro-Am fights, where the best of the amateur fighters have a chance to display their skills in a bout of 3 rounds, 3 minutes each. The night of exclusivity on the location is to demonstrate proper entertainment showcasing only well matched tough fights.
It is the first of its kind to have live filming rights within Lebanon which is the reason for the exclusive audience on the night. New T.V or Al Jadeed station will broadcast the fights from 4-6pm as it happens to local and international viewers. The fights that follow until 8pm will be aired after midnight. Live filming rights of combat sports have not been the case in Lebanon previously, for various reasons. This event has been given the chance to do so because this Grand Master has much experience within the business, and many have trust in him to provide an excellent show along with excellence in performance. The owner of New T.V, Mr Karim Khayt, is a long time practitioner of Muay Thai who was happy to collaborate and contribute to the night of excitement.
The setup of Beirut’s first Fight Night is tailored for a real show. A boxing ring is center to the location surrounded by different sections of seats. Those seated around the ring will include VIP’s, sponsors, military high ranks around round tables of a capacity of 100 persons. Main clubs from around the country and Muay Thai instructors will have the capacity of up to 250 persons and 50 for those within the organization.
Several enthusiastic sponsors have contributed to this night of unique quality. The main sponsor who is known for his generous contributions to the regions realm of mixed martial arts, is none other than Mr Chahe Yerevanian, of Sayfco Holding. Other keen sponsors include Mr Anthony Baladi of Baladi Venture, Mr John Haddad of Level 8, Mr Jean Antypas of Antypas&Sons, Mr Karim Khayt of EighteenSixtySix, and many others.
A little about Shogun Promotions:
Shogun Promotions is a company by Shogun Gym. Having 36 years of experience and history of various martial arts, Shogun was the first gym to start up the ring sports within Lebanon. The creation of Shogun Promotions is in light of the need to have a company that organizes professional Muay Thai events in Lebanon with the expansion of boxing and MMA experiences to follow shortly.
“For now we shall have one big event every four months, next year we plan for one event every 3months. All will be broadcasted live, all with professional fighters. .”
Shogun Promotions is starting out with a bang. First Muay Thai, and then other ring sports are to follow with the same level of professional events and entertainment.
“Later we will expand to have boxing and MMA events, and expand to different countries. You know back in the 1990’s, mid 1990’s, we had some experience with promoting kickboxing and the like, but Beirut Fight Night 1 is the first of its kind, accompanied with professional filming of T.V., not to be missed.”
“I believe as a pioneer of the sport, Lebanon must remain center for combat sports in the Middle East.” – Grand Master Sami Kiblawi.