Ramadan with his brother Ahmad at IFMA Youth Championships 2016

Youth muaythai athletes are training hard for the Youth Muaythai World Championships in August, and none more so than Ramadan Ondash from Lebanon, gold medal winner in 2016 at 25kgs. He featured in Paris Match magazine recently, and this is what they had to say:

Nine year old Lebanese Champion Ramadan Ondash is collecting victories and titles.

Who would have thought Ramadan Ondash, age 9, from the disadvantaged suburbs of Beirut would become the best junior muaythai fighter of 2016? Weighing a mere 25kgs, finding an adversary of his age and level is challenging. Nicknamed “Muaythai Kid”, he fights in a higher category in his home country. Ramadan grew up in the shadows of the boxing rings. He was taught from a very young age in boxing gyms with his brother Ahmad who represents Lebanon at The World Games this month.

Ramadan training hard with brother Ahmad (who goes to The World Games for Lebanon!) PIC @Ondash234

The little boy barely knew how to walk and he was already spending hours, calmly sitting and observing his brother kicking and punching bags. He started very quickly to imitate Ahmad’s moves, who spotted his talent and potential. Initially, it started out as a fun activity between the brothers where his older brother taught him the basic techniques of muaythai. By the age of four, it was clear Ramadan was up for more serious training towards becoming a little champion.

Every day his brother would train him at home or at the Shogun Boxing Club in Beirut which has become a factory of champions. Presided over by master Sami Kiblawi, this exceptional gym is considered as one of the best boxing clubs in the Arab world, promoting Thai martial arts in the region since 1989.

Sponsored by the Young Arab Athlete Foundation (YAAF), Ramadan Ondash is already dreaming about becoming an international sensation. Anthony Baladi, president of the Western Asia Muaythai Federation, also shares this same vision. Meanwhile, this child prodigy is sitting on an astounding record for his age: 12 fights with 11 wins. And has as many titles and medals: Lebanon Champion, Arab Champion.

Thailand’s Minister for Sport presents Traditional Wai Khru awards to youth athletes including Ramadan in 2016

Ramadan is an angel, but in the ring, once he puts on his “Muaythai Kid” persona, he becomes a demon. Not hesitant to measure up to his opponent with a cold look, and bouncing multiple times on his feet to hassle him. He has the strong mind of a champion, Mike Tyson’s punch and Mohamed Ali’s spirit…

This is a translation of Paris Match ‘Muay Thai Kid” : l’enfant prodige de la boxe’

Video show Ramadan Ondash training with former IFMA World Champion Buakaw Banchamek via Instagram Ahmad Ondash