Transgender Muay Thai fighter “Nong Rose” lights up the ring

Somros Phoncharoen was sent to a Muay Thai boxing camp when he was only eight years old because his uncle saw him acting like a ladyboy.

“I started boxing since I was eight. I have an uncle who is a retired boxer. He saw me acting like a katoey, so he put me to fight with other boys and to do boyish stuff,” said Somros, better known by his stage name “Nong Rose Ban Charoensuk”.

His uncle might failed to change his gender preference, but he was successful in making Somros a Muay Thai star.

Nong Rose has now become a famous transgender Muay Thai fighter not only Thai but foreign fans alike.

The 21-year-old transgender boxer had shown impressive skills in Muay Thai that has earned her not only local but international fame after foreign media revealed her story and  her vicious and impressive fight to the world.

She was born in Phimai district of the northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima–the birth place of several past and present Muay Thai champions such as Suk Prasart Hin Phimai and Suriya Prasart Hin Phimai.

Nong Rose recalled that she started to train boxing to earn money since childhood same as many poor Isan (northeastern) families which could hardly  make ends meet and children have to go out working to support parents.

She had a very outstanding boxing records–of the 150 wins in the past years, 30 were knockouts.

“Although I’m a katoey, me and my opponent would fight like men and fight viciously,” she said.

Her outstanding performance drew the eyes of trainers who later put her to competition at the prestigious Rajadamnern Stadium in Bangkok.

Although she fought several matches at Rajadamnern Stadium, the match on July 13 made her name well-known when she could win champion “Pliew Pak Sor Jor Vichit Paed Riew” by points in a bet of one million baht.

Her victory was widely talked about by local and foreign fans since then.

At present she still trains at Ban Charoensuk boxing camp in Chachoengsao province. Now she receives 50,000 baht reward for a match.

Her trainer Somwang Pasasuk said Nong Rose is a fighter who has strong determination and has strict discipline.

She is a model for other young fighters at the camp.

Nong Rose told Thai PBS that she will still be in the career for the next four years.

She said her idol is “Nong Toom” or Parinya Jaroenphon, a former transgender Muay Thai fighter.

Parinya “Nong Toom” Jaroenphon

She said she has a dream to become a physical teacher as in the previous year she passed an entrance examination in physical education but never had chance to study.

Earlier Nong Toom earned her fame in Muay Thai boxing in 1990s for her unique Muay Thai traditional dance, and her vicious fights.

She had acted in several movies, including her biographical sports film ” Beautiful Boxer”. The film tells the life of Nong Toom, the famous katoey Muay Thai fighter, actress and model. At present, Nong Toom is a Muay Thai trainer in Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan.