By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Thailand’s Olympic featherweight boxing champion Somluck Kamsing will fight international martial arts star Jean-Claude Van Damme in a K1 MuayThai match in Las Vegas in March although there was another report out of Bangkok that said the showdown would be in October.
Thai media reported that the earlier story about a possible match between the 38-year-old Atlanta Olympic Games gold medalist and the 49-year-old Hollywood star has been confirmed after the two fighters signed a contract on December 29 in a Bangkok hotel.
The report said the match will use the muaythai format, although elbows will be disallowed at the request of Van Damme who is an actor and doesn’t want his face cut up or disfigured. Somluck will be paid just over $100,000 which does not include the income from broadcasting.
“I said I wasn’t lying,” said Somluck, referring to his earlier comments about the possibility of this match. The report from Bangkok said Somluck is well known for his tendency to exaggerate things.
The Olympic gold medalist said “I thought he was of much larger stature. But when we were standing next to each other, he wasn’t any bigger than me. So, I’m confident now. I’m better in muaythai techniques and I will have fun kicking the star. However, I won’t be careless and will keep training myself.”
Somluck is also hoping to be able to fight other international martial arts stars.