Samart Payakaroon

Samart Payakaroon (Thai: สามารถ พยัคฆ์อรุณ; RTGS: Samat Phayak-arun), real name Samart Tiptarmai (Thai: สามารถ ทิพย์ท่าไม้; RTGS: Samat Thiptha-mai, born 5 December 1962, in the Klong Khet village in the Chachoengsao Province), is a former Muay Thai fighter and boxer. He is considered by many to be the greatest Muay Thai fighter of all time, becoming a multiple time Lumpinee stadium champion and a WBC world champion in boxing.

Samart Payakaroon
Samart Payakaroon in 2006
BornSamart Tiptarmai
(สามารถ ทิพย์ท่าไม้)
(1962-12-05) 5 December 1962
Chacherngsao, Thailand
Native nameสามารถ พยัคฆ์อรุณ
Nickname(s)Phayak na yok
(e.g. Jade-faced Tiger)[1]
Phetchakhat na yok
(e.g. Jade-faced Executioner)[2]
StyleMuay Thai, Boxing
Fighting out ofBangkok, Thailand
TeamSongchai Rattanasuban
Sahasompop Srisomwong
Suchart Kerdmek
TrainerYodtong Senanan (Muaythai)
Sukjai Sappalek (Boxing)
Ismael Salas (Boxing)
Professional boxing record
By knockout12
By knockout2
Kickboxing record
By knockout30
Other information
Notable relativesKongtoranee Payakaroon (Elder brother)
Boxing record from BoxRec

Thai Boxing career

Samart has an older brother, Kongtoranee Payakaroon, who induced Samart to start training in Muay Thai. Samart started training Muay Thai when he was 7 years old. The First Muay Thai teacher of Samart was Yodthong Senanan (Kru Tui) who taught both Samart and Kongtoranee. His first fight name was Samart Lookklongket. After he fought about a dozen fights, he came to Bangkok to fight at Lumpinee Stadium in 1978.

He possessed an extremely high fight IQ, lightning quick reflexes, and excellent ring vision. Samart also fought using creative techniques that were effective and unpredictable, even against elite competition in the 80s and 90s (dubbed the Golden Age of Muay Thai). There were contests where Samart was pushed past the brink of exhaustion, and still gave his opponents the fight of their lives. Even in the period where Samart was more concerned about his music and acting career, he defeated some of the greatest fighters of his generation.[3]


In 1982, he turned to boxing where he fought from a southpaw stance. In 1986, he won a WBC junior featherweight title with a surprise KO over rock-chinned Lupe Pintor in the fifth round and defended against the respected Juan Meza before being stopped by undefeated Australian Jeff Fenech. He made a comeback in the 1990s and challenged unsuccessfully for another world title.

Payakaroon was named The Ring's Progress of the Year fighter for 1986. He now teaches Muay Thai in Thailand.

Titles and accomplishments

Muay Thai

  • 105 lb Champion of Lumpinee Stadium in 1980
  • 108 lb Champion of Lumpinee Stadium in 1980
  • 115 lb Champion of Lumpinee Stadium in 1981
  • 126 lb Champion of Lumpinee Stadium in 1981
  • 1981 Sports Writers of Thailand fighter of the year
  • 1983 Sports Writers of Thailand fighter of the year
  • 1988 Sports Writers of Thailand fighter of the year

1981 Lumpinee Stadium Fight of the Year with Mafeuang Weerapon[4]

1982 Lumpinee Stadium Fight of the Year with Dieselnoi Chor Thanasukarn


  • World Boxing Council World Super Bantamweight Champion (1986)



Between his two stints as boxing champion, Samart signed with a Grammy Entertainment winning label and released three albums. They are pop music but with his upcountry accent ('"Ner" เหน่อ) as opposed to central Thailand accent. His first album, Rock Ner Ner. (ร็อคเหน่อๆ) in 1989, contains a famous song On Som (อ่อนซ้อม - not enough practice) talking about him being very proficient in boxing but lacking the same aptitude at getting love from women. His second and third album, Arom Dee (อารมณ์ดี) and Kun Mai Kun Mike (คันไม้คันไมค์) followed in 1990 and 1992 with famous songs Nam Plik Pla Too (น้ำพริกปลาทู) and Kao Ao Eng (เกาเอาเอง) respectively.[5] After the three albums, he went back to boxing.


In 2000, Samart starred as a minor antagonist named Chartchai Payakaroon in A Fighter's Blues. He had a role in the 2001 Thai film, The Legend of Suriyothai. He had a major role in the French drama film, Fureur, and was in the 2004 film, The Bodyguard. In 2006, he co-starred in the Thai martial arts film, Dynamite Warrior. He appeared in Muay Thai Chaiya in 2007.

In 2015, his biography has created a documentary film released in Mard Payak (มาดพยัคฆ์; "Tiger Style") by NOW26 in a network of Nation Multimedia Group.[6]


Samart is considered to be the "Muhammad Ali" and "Sugar Ray Robinson" of Muay Thai. His name holds prestige for followers of the sport to this day.

Coach and legendary fighter Kru Sityodtong spoke highly of Samart, saying Samart was easily the most talented fighter he’s ever seen. Sidyodtong also believes Thailand still hasn’t seen anyone as talented as Samart grace the ring, and he says that during an era where Saenchai reigns supreme.

K-1 champion Buakaw Banchamek stated that Samart was the greatest Muay Thai fighter ever, without question.

Many modern day fighters, such as Saekson Janjira, Matee Jedeepitek, Kongnapa Kansaek Sor Ploenjit, Lookchang, and Nokweed all look up to Samart and aspire to be like him.[3]

Fight record

Muay Thai Record (Incomplete)
Boxing record

Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest   Notes


  1. Archived 2015-12-08 at the Wayback Machine สามารถ พยัคฆ์อรุณ พยัคฆ์หน้าหยก ยอดมวยไทย-แชมป์โลก, date March 28, 2012, accessed November 28, 2015. Thai: ภาษาไทย
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-08-04. Retrieved 2016-04-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) เพชฌฆาตหน้าหยก “สามารถ พยัคฆ์อรุณ”, date January 8, 2016, accessed April 24, 2016. Thai: ภาษาไทย
  3. "who-was-the-greatest-of-all-time-in-muay-thai".
  5. Artist Name: Samart Payakaroon Archived 2007-02-18 at the Wayback Machine, iKey (GMM online music store), accessed December 27, 2007.
  6. "มาดพยัคฆ์" 24 ก.ย.นี้ ที่โรงภาพยนตร์เครือ SF CINEMA, date September 23, 2015, accessed June 25, 2016. Thai: ภาษาไทย
Preceded by
Lupe Pintor
WBC Super Bantamweight Champion
18 Jan 1986 8 May 1987
Succeeded by
Jeff Fenech
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