Dieselnoi: Sky Piercing Knee
Talk to anyone remotely interested in Muay Thai about the Golden Era, and the name Dieselnoi is guaranteed to come up. The Undefeated Lumpinee Stadium Lightweight Champion at 135 lbs from 1981–85 remains a legendary figure of the greatest era of Thai boxing.
Charin Sorndee was born in Nakhon Luang in Ayutthaya province in 1961, the youngest of three children. A natural scrapper, he liked to fight at school, but began training Muay Thai at Sor Banchongsak camp after watching the fights on TV with his father. At age 15 he had his first fight for Chanor Loungchanan in Ayutthaya with the nickname Dieselnoi (Little Diesel), winning just 50 baht ($1.50) for his efforts. After 60 fights with that gym, he moved to Sor Vorakulchai in Chonburi, aged 17, before making his move to Chor Thanasukarn, the camp that he would stay at for the rest of his career.
After his move to Bangkok, Dieselnoi began to rise through the ranks rapidly. He fought at Rajadamnern Stadium at 126 lbs and 135 lbs. His height made him a formidable opponent. At 6 ft 3 in, his reach gave him a huge advantage. He was known for his trademark knees that earned him the nickname “The Sky Piercing Knee Kicker”. The Muay Khao (knee fighter) did not have as many fights as some of the boxers of his era, with a record of 122 fights, 110 wins (40 by way of knock out), 10 losses and 2 draws. Despite this, he fought the very best of his era: Vicharnoi Porntawee, Pohsai Sittiboonlert, Padejsuek Pisanurachan, Nongkhai Sor Prapassorn, Narongnoi Kiatbandhit, Kaosod Sitpraprom, Pravit Sridhani, Krongsak Prakong Boranrat and Raktear Muangsurin.
Lumpinee Stadium was to become his fortress and in 1981, he defeated the reigning champion, Koapong Sittichuchai for the lightweight title and a purse of 350,000 baht ($10,800). He successfully defended the title against all comers, including Samart Payakaroon in 1982 (for a huge purse of 400,000 baht – $12,300) and Sakad Petchyindee in 1984. After four years, Dieselnoi was forced to relinquish his title and retire in 1985, as there was nobody left in his division. He had defeated everyone and become known as the greatest Muay Khao of all time.