Photos by Matthew Yarbrough
[Manasak Pinsinchai, whose real name is Pranom Sungngoen, was born in Thailand’s Ubon Ratchatani Province on June 14, 1982. He began fighting at age nine and has fought somewhere between 200 and 300 times (his best guess is 295). He is widely known in Thailand’s fight circuit, holding belts from Rajadamnern Stadium and the WMC, as well as winner of both the M-150 and Channel 3 Tournaments, and finalist of the Isuzu Tournament. Now in his thirties, at a time when many fighters have long since retired, Manasak’s name is still featured on top fight cards.
But it was not without struggle. In the past decade, Manasak has suffered three separate injuries, which took him out of the game for a time period totaling nearly four years. Each time, he has had to reevaluate his life and career, looking for alternative employment while unable to compete in Bangkok. And each time, it is the recovery process that leads him back to the fighter’s life.]
When I was 25, I dislocated my knee during clinch training. I fell, and the kid I was training with fell over my leg. I had to take a break for a year because of that.
But I recovered and came back, fought three times, then entered the Channel 3 Tournament. I won the whole thing, about 250,000 baht. Felt like I was on top of the world.
Then I had a motorcycle accident. Isn’t that always the way? You can still see the mark of the accident here on my leg.
[He flexes his calf muscle, which shows an abnormal crevice. Manasak is known for his substantial calves. When asked why his calves are so famous, he laughs, says he doesn’t know, but, “It runs in the family. My dad has the same thing. But I don’t ….View full article