Then Ramon’s real world famous breakthrough came in
18-02-1990 against his opponent Nangpon Nongeeb Pahuyuth from Thailand. Nangpon (whose name I
have also seen spelled as Namphon) was the reigning world
champion from the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium which is the highest ranked in
Thailand. Some promoters in the Netherlands promoted that fight. It was the
first time the Dutch audience could see big-name world-class fighters all
fighting in one event. Dekker’s fight against Nangpon was the fight of the
night – his first fight against a true Thai champion, a big name fighter
from Asia. Ramon knew what Nangpon could do because he had seen him on
videotapes when he fought in Bangkok and he was really impressed because
Nangpon was a very good fighter. And he was world champion and a champion
from Thailand. So, it was one of the most important belts for Ramon –
International Muay Thai Federation world championship belt.
Nangpon did his best to survive for 5 rounds. Ramon almost
knocked him out with a left hook. He got an 8 count 2 times with him. Ramon
kicked him in the face. He punched him in the head; he kicked and punched
him on his liver but Nangpon was very strong, very tough. He didn’t go down
Ramon really wanted to win that fight. He really wanted to show them that a
guy from Holland could be strong or stronger than one of the Thais.
It was Dekkers at his most beautiful. It was Dekkers with that punching and
Dekkers with that beautiful left hook that put the tough Thai on the deck.
And Dekkers was fighting in Amsterdam. But at the same time, the Thai
television insisted to broadcast this fight live to Bangkok to Thailand.
There were Thai referees; there were Thai commercials even in the
cornerposts of the ring. This is because all of Thailand believed that he
would not succeed in beating Nangpon. But what he did was incredible.
Dekkers was in great shape. He showed a variety of attacks but it was those
“punches in bunches” that really had the Thai reeling. To the Thai’s credit,
he did not get knocked out clean, even though in most of the fight he was
dominated by Dekkers. But Dekkers had a few surprises for him in the form of
kicks to the face. And soon, there he was, winning the title and being
hugged by his trainer and mentor Cor Hemmers. He was the new World Champion.
When Ramon first knocked the champion down with a good left hook, all
Thailand was quiet. As they saw on television this small blonde guy from
Holland almost knocking out their Lumpinee champion, the way was open. They
started to invite Ramon and his team to Thailand. And the rest is history.