260516 Thailand vs Belarus
Thailand Suppachai Meunsang vs Belarus Andrei Kulabin

What a day of fights, with semi-finals in the senior mens and womens taking place in two rings until after 9pm.

The stadium rocked to cheers, with fighters who’ve lost out in earlier rounds now turning out for their colleagues – or even adopting other countries to cheer for during bouts.

It’s hard to pick out highlights for this report, but we’ll try.

Late in the evening Thailand’s Suppachai Meunsang stepped in against Andrei Kulabin from Belarus at 71kgs in what can only be described as a war from two experienced fighters. Both started hard firing in leg-kicks, with Suppachai forcing through elbows as a finisher.

In the second round Andrei pulled out a huge body-hook with the left hand, and Suppachai tucked in for the grapple scoring with hard knees. The third was still full-on with body-kicks and punch-combos flying in from both. Suppachai was throwing elbows more often now and scoring. He took the win on points in the end, so close.

In the other ring at 91kgs Russia’s Iallyev Arslan took on Dzianis Hancharonak from Belarus in another battle to the end. Two different styles, but both men powering in with leg and body kicks from the start of round one.

The two men hugged at the start of the third, recognising the intensity of the contest. The final round went down to the wire, and Belarus took it on points.

Canada’s Sean Kearney fought Sweden’s Maghus Andersson in a nail-biting three-rounder at 71kgs. They started slowly but mid-way through the first round both exploded with powerful body-kicks. Sean took the win on points.

Peru Antonia Shevchenko vs Turkey Kubra Akbulut
Peru Antonia Shevchenko vs Turkey Kubra Akbulut

In the women’s contests Russia’s Julia Berezikava defeated Australia’s Yolanda Schmidt on points in another close fight. Peru’s Antoninia Shevchenko fought to a points win over Turkey’s Kubra Akbulut.

Kubra put up a tough fight, dropping Antoninia at one point with a huge right hand but over the three rounds Antoninia pulled out some classy head-kicks, and was strong in the grapple to take the points.

Thailand’s Suphisara Konlak won on points against Russia’s Vara Negodina.

And the home crowd really got behind Sweden’s Sofia Olofsson winning over Jlhan Baurukkacli from Morocco. Vietnamese boxer Ly Bui Yen had a tough fight against Swedish fighter Johanna Rydberg, using her teep-kick to devestating effect especially in the third round.

Other countries in action were Iran, Croatia, Finland, Switzerland, Israel and Poland stepped into the very last fight of the nigh against Russia.

More photographs and video on IFMA Muaythai Facebook  and IFMA Muaythai Instagram