The Amazing Muay Thai World Festival 2024, held from February 4th to 6th at Rajabhakti Park, culminated in a grand closing ceremony presided over by Prime Minister Setha Thavisin.
The event, a celebration of Thai boxing heritage, also served as a platform to honor Hua Hin’s own Pone Kingpetch, Thailand’s first boxing world champion, who was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF) in 2023.
Mayor of Hua Hin, Mr. Nopporn Wutikul, was presented with a certificate of honor from the World Boxing Council Asia (WBC Asia) recognizing Kingpetch’s historic achievement. Kingpetch, born Mana Seedokbuab in 1935, started his boxing career in Hua Hin and went on to defeat numerous seasoned champions, including Nok Koo Noi Withee Chai. His international acclaim was cemented on April 16, 1960, when he claimed the flyweight world championship in a match attended by King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit, defeating Argentine champion Pascual Perez.
Throughout his career, Kingpetch secured titles across three boxing organizations, including the WBC and the World Boxing Association (WBA). His legacy continues to be celebrated in Hua Hin, where a 2.20-meter statue stands in his honor, and an annual event on April 16th commemorates his contributions to the sport.
This year’s festival not only paid tribute to Kingpetch but also featured the “Grassroots Muay Thai to Thai Local Ways” competition and an exhibition dedicated to his life and achievements.
The event also included the “Miracle Muay Thai Day, Known Worldwide 2024”, marking its second year with a Guinness World Record attempt for the largest Wai Kru Muay Thai ceremony and Muay Thai weapon dance performance, featuring 3,660 army personnel.
Highlighting Thai culture and history, the festival included a propitiatory ceremony for King Sanphet VIII (King Tiger) on Muay Thai Day, celebrating the royal’s contribution to the sport.
Attendees enjoyed local food, a Thai boxing history exhibition, live Muay Thai fights, and performances that showcased the art and culture of Muay Thai, culminating in a drone light show and fireworks display that mesmerized over 5,000 participants.
The Amazing Muay Thai World Festival 2024 not only honored a local hero but also celebrated the rich heritage of Muay Thai, reinforcing its significance in Thai culture and on the global stage.