Muay Thai fighter Antoine Pinto, 20, dubbed 'Kid Shark' in Thai, hopes competing in The Challenger Muay Thai will raise his profile. Photo: AXN
Muay Thai boxer Antoine Pinto will be facing 15 of the world's best fighters in a reality TV
By Barry C Chung
Muay Thai fighters possess the most lethal leg kicks in martial arts. Although taekwondo kicks look more spectacular, they do not have the bone-on-bone impact of a tae tad, or Thai-style round
Stand within striking range of a nak muay, or Thai boxer, and you will be overwhelmed by a flurry of deadly knees and razor-sharp elbows.
Antoine Pinto, aka Antuan Siangboxing, can tell you about that. Dubbed Dek Shlam, or "Kid Shark" in Thai, Pinto is only 20, yet he has more than 100 wins and 14 titles under his belt, including
the eight-man I-1 World Muay Thai Grand Prix tournament in Hong Kong this April.
"I wake up at 6am every day and run about eight to 10km," Pinto tells Young Post from his home base in Thailand.
"Then I go back to the gym and train two hours, eat, rest and wake up at 3pm and go run again for 3 to 4km, [followed] by another three hours in the gym."
Despite all his accomplishments in the ring, it's his boyish good looks that give him extra appeal - particularly among female viewers of The Challenger Muay Thai.
The television programme will pit Pinto against 15 top Muay Thai fighters in the world.
Each of the 13 episodes will explore different Muay Thai techniques using fists, elbows, knees and feet.
Two fighters demonstrate them by fighting it out in the ring. The winner goes on to the next round; the loser goes home.
Pinto and the other fighters will be in Malaysia, living under the same roof. This group of feisty fighters should ensure great television.
The France-born Pinto moved to Thailand with his family 10 years ago. "My brother [Leo, also a Muay Thai fighter] and I had no friends here," he says. "But there was a little gym on the beach
near our house. So we both went there to meet some boys and play around. I didn't know what was Muay Thai at all."
At first, he simply wanted to fit in by doing Muay Thai, but since then he has never looked back. He fought his first professional bout at 13. He quickly progressed and became junior champion of
Southern Thailand in the 56kg category before he was 14.
Pinto says he decided to compete in The Challenger Muay Thai to pit himself against some of the world's best fighters. "If I win the first prize, maybe I'll set up a new gym in another
country - perhaps Hong Kong or Singapore," he says.
The Challenger Muay Thai begins tomorrow at 10pm on AXN
Imagine Group brings you the next generation of reality viewing, The Challenger Muay Thai.
With the rise of K1 and UFC capturing the hearts and imagination of millions of viewers around the world, The Challenger Muay Thai is set to bring the sporting experience to a whole new
The Challenger begins with 2 teams of 8 contestants,who will be selected from amongst the worlds most talented and fearsome fighters to battle each other in a series of elimination fights.
The competition will be fierce, with not only The Challenger title belt up for grabs, but also $100,000 cash prize and a WMC officially sanctioned World Championship title. The winner of the
series will come back to defend his title in the next season of the show.
In addition, the contestants will have the privilege of working under
the supervision of our celebrity mentor Stephan Fox, Vice President of The world Muay Thai Council, and his team of celebrity trainers Nugget and Clifton Brown.
Viewers will get to experience the sport of Muay Thai like never before – from the fighters perspective in the ring with a referee cam that brings them close to the action! The technical
analysis of each fight by Stephan Fox and the trainers will give our viewers new insights into what it takes to be a world champion!
The Challenger combines the elements of reality, grueling training, drama and spectacular elimination fights in 12 one hour episodes, ending in a two hour spectacular season finale fight,
where one fighter with go home with the ultimate prize and the title belt Guest fighters include the likes of world champion Yodsanklai and rival John Wayne Parr.
12 x 1 hour episodes
1 x 2 hour live season finale
Asia Broadcast Platform:
AXN (22 countries, prime time with 2 repeats each week)
Antoine Pinto, also known as Antuan Siangboxing is a French Muay Thai fighter. He moved to Thailand when he
was nine years of age and at only the age of 20 is one of the sports bright young fighters. Antoine took some time to talk to Muay Thai Authority about his time on the upcoming
reality TV series "The Challenger" as well as his the cancellation of his fight with Thanongdet.
MTA: You were recently on The Challenger Muay Thai, we know you
probably cant give any results away, but overall how was the experience on the show?
Antoine: The Challenger Muaythai was a fantastic cultural and human
experience for me. Living one month closed in a villa withvery famous fighters coming from
different nations. Living together 24h/24 when each guy wants to win the trophy wasn't easy.Maybe,
because I was one of the younger boxers. Difficult to live, work, train and fight without my family, coach and trainer but a real good experience for me. I think, today, I'm more mature and all fighters of the show will remain my friends for a long time. Watch
The Challenger muaythai on TV and you understand.
MTA: You are very young, only 20, but you are very experienced. How
old were you when you started training Muay Thai?
Antoine: I started training muaythai in Thailand when I was 10 years
MTA: You are the youngest foreigner to have fought at Lumpinee or
Rajadmnern stadiums and have carved out a name internationally. Was being a Muay Thai fighter something you knew you wanted to do as soon as you began training? Antoine: I think me and my young brother, Leo Siangboxing are the youngest
foreigners to have fought at Lumpinee at 14 years old but that's not enough to make a name in Thailand. We are arrived 11 years ago in a small village and the muaythai was a good
opportunity to learn the Thai language and local culture. Also, because it is a good way to get friends when you are the only two foreigners of the place.We never think we would be known or famous as we climbed step by step through the Thai circuit.
MTA: You had an upcoming fight against Thanongdet Chengsimiewgym in
Germany under the Elite Boxing Challengers series, but the fight was canceled?
Antoine: Unfortunately the fight against Thanongdeth has been
cancelled in Germany, but I think we'll meet him was another date in a Thai stadium. I am very disappointed, because I was prepared for a month and I refuse to fight for the MPL
and Thai Fight to face the current Lumpinee champion, after beating Saenchainoi last month.
MTA: If you would have fought Thanongdet what do you feel would have
been your strengths?
Antoine: I am more young than him ha ha ha.
MTA: What does he bring to the fight that you feel you would have to
Antoine: He is a fighter fimeu and dangerous, but I think have as
much experience as him and be stronger physically.
MTA: Can you give us a prediction for the fight if it were to
Antoine: I think that if the opportunity were re-introduced in the
future this will surely make a beautiful fight or the French pride will dominate.
MTA: Being so young, but already having an established name in Muay
Thai, what are you goals?
Antoine: Muaythai is a job, but also a succession of blows of hearts
then I let go my boxing to passion without calculating. Today, with my brother Leo we manage the family gym Siangboxing Camp and will open a new gym in the coming
MTA: Are there any fighters out there in particular that you would
like to fight?
Antoine: For the pleasure of the spectators John Wayne Parr, Buakraw
and Petrosyan before they are too old... ha ha ha
Who Will Rise To The Challenge?
Sweat, blood and adrenaline pump through AXN in The Challenger Muaythai
Things are about to get bloody exciting on AXN. The network is bringing the heat of the fight back to TV screens with a brand new series The Challenger
Muaythai, and in high definition no less!
Produced by the Imagine Group and The Group Entertainment, under supervision of the World Muaythai Council (WMC), the world’s governing body for the sport of muaythai, the reality competition
series will be set and shot in Malaysia. Whether for glory or gain, 16 world-class fighters will fight it out to win the ultimate title of Muaythai World Champion and the grand prize of
US$100,000! The fighters have been hand picked from a selection of international professional fighters from the WMC 128 member countries.
No one is more apt than renowned Muaythai personality Stephan Fox as host of the series, an industry veteran with over 30 years of experience. With his illustrious background as the Vice-Pre
sident of the World Muaythai Council, Fox will also play mentor to the fighters and take a hands-on approach in grooming these talents, hand-picked from the best breed of fighters around the
world. Next to him, hosting the fight nights, it will be the gorgeous Asian tv celebrity, Sonia Couling.
From Malaysia, Thailand, to Israel and South Africa, the motley crew of fighters trail blaze an impressive track record both in their countries and in the international arena, with numerous
championship titles under their belts. With ages ranging from 18 to 35, the calibre of fighters is certainly unparalleled. Some have started their training since the tender age of seven, while
others have fought The Contender Asia champion Yodsanklai and even won. With intimidating monikers like ‘The Cheetah’, ‘The Sniper’ and ‘Black Dynamite’, it is clear that the boys are
not in town to play. With such high stakes, each and every fighter will not go down without a fight!
Each week, the fighters will be subjected to a rigorous bout of training from their two trainers Hanarong and Nugget, revolving around the ‘weapon of the week’.
These include spiritual ideals such as respect and fearlessness, as well as focusing on each component of their body, their natural weapon in the context of Muaythai.
“As the entertainment destination for action and adventure, there is no other cable channel that is a better fit for the sheer adrenaline and thrill of The Challenger
Muaythai. We are pleased to be working with the Imagine Group for th e show, with their proven track record in producing top-notch reality series in Asia,” said Mr Ricky Ow, Senior
Vice President and General Manager, Networks, Asia, Sony Pictures Television.
“Nothing on the planet brings yo u this close to the action… our viewers will be on the edge of their seats,” added Mr Riaz Mehta, President and Founder of the Imagine Group.
Watch out for the
titillating drama that will unfold in the fighters’ villa, as tension runs high with the progression of each fight night and the numbers dwindle. Alliances will be forged, blood will be shed and
the fighters will be scraping through each win by the skin of their teeth! Who will rise to the challenge and emerge as the Muaythai World Champion? Who will overcome all odds and walk away with
USD100,000? All will be unveiled on The Challenger Muaythai, set to premiere on AXN (Astro channel 701) and AXN HD (Astro B.yond channel 721) in the fourth quarter of
this year and foreseeing over 400 Million spectators worldwide.
SERIES STRUCTURE 12 x 1 hour episodes 1 x 2 hour live season finale Asia Broadcast Platform: AXN (22 countries, prime time with 2 repeats each week)
Start 15th September 2011
Challenger Muaythai on AXN tv
FITNESS FIRST - THE CHALLENGER MUAYTHAI ON AXN TV
INTRODUCTION - 01
INTRODUCTION - 02
THE MUAYTHAI RULES
THE TRADITIONAL WAI KHRU
FIGHT 01 - RECAP - Colossa (South Africa) vs Corley (USA)
AFTER FIGHT 01 in the villa
FIGHT 02 - CEDRIC MULLER vs FADDI MERTZA
AFTER FIGHT 02 in the villa
FIGHT 03 - Antuan Siangboxing(france) Vs Ilya Grad (Israel)
After fight 03 in the villa
FIGHT 04 - MATSUA (Thailand) Vs Ryse Saliba (Australia)
After Fight 04 in the villa
FIGHT 05 - MILES (Canada) vs FAIZAL (Malaysia)
AFTER FIGHT 05 in the villa
AFTER FIGHT 06 in the villa
FIGHT 07 - Jordan Watson (UK) vs Cyrus Washington (USA)
FIGHT 08 - Marco Pique (Holand) Vs Franki Giorgi (Australia)
AFTER FIGHTS 07-08 in the villa
FIGHT 09 - 1/4 FINAL - Antoine Pinto (France) vs Faizal Ramli (Malaysia)
AFTER FIGHT : ANTUAN SIANGBOXING vs FAIZAL
Saturday, October 1, 2011
The Challenger MuayThai
by Antoine Pinto
I was very honored to be chosen with Cedric Muller to represent my country in this international Muaythai show, as well as being an ambassador for the sport because this event will affect
millions of viewers worldwide. I think Stefan Fox and his team chose me for my experience in Thailand and my good results this past year.
It was a beautiful experience of for me to participate in The Challenger Muay Thai, but it was also a tough experience because I am one of the youngest boxers, one of the lightest and for the
first time I had to fight, train and live without my family, coaches and elsewhere.
The hardest part was being forbidden to communicate with the outside and you having to choose which boxer to fight, because every boxer lives day and night with you. It definitely creates tension
in the house.
The issue I had with Fadi Merza was not serious. When I changed my bag up to be near my friend Faisal in the room, Fadi was very tense. He is a native of southern Europe, so he gets carried away
and his blood gets warm very fast. Fadi made it an obsession to fight me because I got a laugh out of an adult who acts like a child, it was very funny to me.
My first fight was against Ilya Grad. The first time I chose my opponent the staff disagreed with my choice because Cyrus had not been chosen as a boxer with good knees. After this Cyrus was very
angry with me, stupid reaction because you come to fight not be on a holiday on this show. The staff chose Ilya to fight me instead, I was OK with the fight because I knew I could win easily
against him. The only two problems to resolve was that he was 193 cm (6'3") and 77kg (170lbs).
This fight was hard, but not close. At the end of the first round Ilya cut and hurt me with elbows and won the round. I still confident I was going to win because I quickly understood what his
tactic for the fight was, move forward and use big elbows. When you do that you open up and can't protect yourself. I started to kick right and he never blocked in rounds 2 and 3. In round 4 he
did not see that I changed my guard and I threw all my left middle kicks. In round 5 I had some very good coaching from Nuggets, he asked me to create a stir by using combinations not performed
before. Punches and kicks to the head and flying knees, 90% of the techniques were successful and allowed me to get the victory.
I am still not pleased with my performance because I took a good amount of damage and I knew recovering before the next fight would not be easy.
I would like to thank my fellow Vouri Cedric Muller as he always encouraged me throughout the fight and also others such as Jordan Watson and Vuyisile Colosaa. Despite being potential opponents
they cheered me on as well, a big and good lesson in sportsmanship.
Thanks to all my fans for your support and I will try to make you proud again for my next fight.
Tall, dark, and handsome, Antoine is truly a ladies' man and oozes sex
appeal making him a favourite amongst young female fans. At only 20
Antoine holds a remarkable fight record of only 23 percent losses in over
Combining exceptional skill and experience beyond his years, Antoine has
made a name for himself as a prodigy in Muaythai. Through the years,
Antoine has also managed to acquire his fight name, "Dek Shlam", which
is Thai for "Kid Shark" as his fighting style and force bear great resemblance
to that of a shark, not to mention his ability to destroy and 'devour' his
It doesn’t end there. Antoine hails from a family of athletes including his
younger brother (who he claims to be better than him) and father, who has
won multiple titles in a wide range of sports. With a history of sporting
excellence in his family, it is no surprise that Antoine’s father and younger
brother are his inspiration. Despite all the success he has had, Antoine
remains humble. When it comes to his fighting career, he explains, "I
keep standing up for the honor of all the people who have helped me get to
where I am, because without them, I would not exist. I wasn’t born a
champion, it took many grueling hours and hard work."
Antoine's fight style is incredibly Thai, some say perhaps too Thai-style as
he holds back for much of the fight. Fact is, if people respect and play to
Antoine's Thai style fighting, he has a chance to go far but if not and they
decide to go hard on him, it could be a dangerous situation for the charming
kid who has a good sense of humour.
As a result of his flourishing achievements leading up to The Challenger
Muaythai, Antoine has earned a new name, "The Phenom". This name
should warn those who come head-to-head with this 20-year-old French
Shark, that it will be unwise to judge this book by its cover, and to remind
them of his outstanding natural ability and skills.
Challenger Breaks All Records!
Challenger Muaythai has become the Number 1 show on the AXN network breaking all records of any other hit show in the same timeslot.
The concept of bringing the hopes, dreams and sacrifices of 16 elite muaythai fighters together with one of the most outstanding personalities in muaythai, as the host and mentor, two of the
world’s best muaythai trainers and one of Asia’s best known TV celebrities has paid off. The Challenger Muaythai has blown away the competition.
Every Thursday night, prime time, audiences are glued to their seats to find out what the weapon of the week will be, who will square off in the biggest fight of their career and whose dreams
will be shattered as they have to leave the Challenger house.
For the quarter-finals the last eight boxers were divided into two teams of four, I was chosen
first to face Faizal. In matters of pure boxing it was not a difficult fight for me because Faizal is not as technical of a fighter as I am and he does not have my
experience, but Faizal is physically very strong and in addition to that he is the national hero in Malaysia and during the fight he would have a whole nation was
Faizal is a loyal friend and a boxer ... it was hard to face someone who has been on my team.
I'd rather have him on my teamand have to face him later in the competition than having
to fight him first in the quarter-finals.
THE FIGHT In round 1 Faizal put pressure and lead with elbows, but they weren't very hard. In round 2 he
used the same technique, but I managed to make him lose his balance in the clinch. In rounds 3 and 4 I knew he would keep going because he
had the entire crowd behind him, I opted to fight using kicks and straight knees. Faizal didn't like the clinch and I was beating him in the clinch each round. In
round 5, Faizal was beaten and exhausted so I accelerated the pace and a high kick landed and sent Faizal to the ground . I ended with a sequence of punches which
helped me score a TKO.
AFTERMATH I'm very happy with the result because I proved that I can be in the final square versus the
best fighters of the world. I was also happy because of the experience and that I was able to control my emotions and stay calm under pressure in a stadium 100%
against me with spectators and hostile fanatics.
I am proud for my boxing school, for my family and for the French flag .At the same time I am
sad for my friend Faizal, but it's the law of the sport.
P.S. I hope the same thing for my French friend Cedric Muller .