Saturday, December 9, 2023
HomesportsBohic's path to ONE stardom

Bohic's path to ONE stardom

Rafi Bohic is one of the most decorated fighters to grace the rings of Thailand.

Now, the bantamweight Muay Thai star is looking to take another step on his journey through ONE Championship.

Bohic returns to the venue where many of his career triumphs took place — Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok — on Friday, to lock horns with Antar Kacem in the main event of ONE Lumpinee 37.

Bohic was born in Le Havre, France, and briefly trained in his home country’s native boxing style of savate as a teenager.

The young martial arts enthusiast soon discovered Muay Thai and transitioned to the sport at 17.

Muay Thai competition was illegal in France at the time. At 20, Bohic packed up and moved to Thailand to pursue his dreams at the famed Singpatong Gym in Phuket.

Once in Thailand, Bohic quickly set about racking up fights on the local circuit and, incredibly, locked horns with Muay Thai superstar Saenchai less than a year later.

He went on to amass more than 90 fights against some of the best Thai and foreign fighters on the scene.

The glittering run culminated with a Lumpinee Muay Thai world title, a rare feat for non-Thai athletes.

Bohic went on to claim and defend the coveted title on seven occasions and still holds the belt to this day. He also won the prestigious WBC Muay Thai world title along the way.

As the Covid-19 pandemic took hold in 2020, Bohic moved back to France to work as a Muay Thai coach.

But the competitive fire still burned inside the bantamweight star, who soon returned to the ring and reeled off a pair of wins in his home country.

During that time, ONE was taking Muay Thai to a new level, providing unprecedented opportunities and a global platform for the sport’s top competitors, rising stars, and undiscovered talents.

After returning to Thailand, Bohic soon gained the promotion’s attention and landed a spot in its ONE Lumpinee series.

His debut did not disappoint, as Bohic went to war with Tapaokaew Singha Mawynn over three rounds and earned the split-decision nod from the judges at ONE Lumpinee 12 in April.

A dream match-up with fellow knockout artist Kulabdam So Jor Piek Uthai followed in July, but the fight ended in an anticlimactic no contest after an accidental first-round eye poke rendered the Thai unable to continue.

At ONE Lumpinee 37, Bohic faces rising Belarusian star Kacem, who is looking to build on the momentum he gained in his crushing knockout win over Thai phenom Yodphupa Wimanair at ONE Lumpinee 28 in August.

The fight promises to be another fan-friendly tilt between two hard-hitting Muay Thai stars that are hungry for the coveted 3.5 million baht ONE Championship contract on offer via the global martial arts giant’s weekly Lumpinee events.

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