Centuries, Muaythai (Thai boxing) has been the national martial art which is popularly practised by the commoners as well as kings, especially the kings in the ancient times. It is said in Thai history there was a king in the Ayudhaya period who was very fond of boxing. Whenever he heard there would be a fight, he would disguise himself as a commoner and rush to join the fun.
That Thai king was none other than Phra Chao Sri Sanpetch Vlll or better known as Phra Buddha Chao Sua, the 29th king of Krung Sri Ayudhya. Khun Luang Sorasak, the forrner narne before he was crowned, was the son of Phra Petraja who was the founder of the Ban Plu Luang Dynasty. One day, Phra Buddha Chao Sua was told by a noblernan that there was a temple fair at Ban Pajanta in Viset Chaichan district. Whenever there was a celebration, usually there would be boxing matches there.
His Majesty did not hesitate. The next morning, he took his entourage and went there by boat. They disembarked at Tambon Kruad and went on foot to the village where the celebration was being held. He disguised himself as a commoner and took a few close aides with him so that the villagers would not notice his visit. When they arrived here, they mixed with the crowd. His Majesty found the boxing ground and sent his aide to ask the promoter whether there would be and local boxers would like to fight with a visiting boxer from the city.
Refusing to do the traditional Thai way of weigh-in as suggested by the promoter, His Majesty insisted on his decision to fight the best local boxer, dressed and ready to go into the ring. The fight was very exciting for both were very skillful and talented, drawing cheers from the spectators. But only after half of the first round, the local boxer was badly hurt and was finally defeated.
As a tradition, the promoter awarded the winner one baht, and the loser fifty satang (half a baht). The king asked for more fights. The promoter did not argue; he arranged more fighters to box with the king. And His Majesty won them all. But most important of all, the visiting boxer from the city had impressed all the spectators with his fighting talent.
After the matches, His Majesty and his entourage happily returned to’the capital.