Kaensak: Intelligent Boxing
In the first instalment of Golden Era Greats, we will be looking at the legendary Kaensak Sor Ploenjit, Lumpini and Rajadamnern Stadium Champion and two-time Fighter of the Year.
During the greatest time for Muay Thai in the late 80s and early 90s, a few incredible fighters rose to the top, defeating similarly superb opponents to attain immortality in the hearts of the Thai people. The devastating kicks and technical counter-fighting of Kaensak won him titles and acclaim, but more significantly, cemented his place among the pantheon of Muay Thai demigods.
Kaensak was a Muay Dae – a kick fighter. Known for powerful, technical kicks and punches, he took apart more aggressive and stronger opponents with perfectly-timed blows. His “intelligent boxing” style came from his father, who was also a Nak Muay and Kaensak’s first teacher. Born in Samut Prakan, close to Bangkok in 1970, he began training aged 9 at Taputhai camp. Kaensak moved to Bangkok aged 15, where he fought out of Sor Ploenjit, a gym he stayed at for 15 years as a fighter and trainer.
Kaensak’s career was a glittering success story. He fought over 250 fights in Thailand, more than 200 of which ended in victory, his final career tally, including overseas fights surpasses 300 bouts fought at 112lbs, 115lbs, 122lbs and 135lbs. Promoted by the famous Songchai Ratanasuban, Kaensak fought the best of his era including Nuengubon Sitlertchai, Hansuk Prasathinpanumrung, Jaroensap Kietbanchong, Silapathai Jockeygym, Wangchannoi Sor Palangchai, Langsuan Panyuthapum, Thaweesaklek Ploysakdaa and Vicharn Sitchuenchong. His four-fight series with Karuhat Sor Palangchai and three-fight series with Lamnamoon Sor Sumalee are legendary.
Aged 19, Kaensak was at his absolute peak. In 1989, he defeated Pharuehaslek Sitchuntong to become the 112lb Stadium Champion at Lumpinee, and defeated Denhnue Denmolee at Rajadamnern Stadium to take the 112lb champion’s belt there too. It was a great year for the fighter, which culminated in him being named Fighter of the Year by the Sports Writer’s Association of Thailand. Extraordinarily, he won the Fighter of the Year accolade in 1990 as well, making him the only boxer to have won it in successive years.
In 2000, Kaensak moved to the USA where he won the WCK and IKKC world titles aged 36 and 37 respectively. He now lives in New Jersey and is head Muay Thai coach at AMA Fight Club.
Kaensak is considered to be the 5th greatest Thai fighter of all time.