R.I.P Ramon Dekkers – Muay Thai Legend

Legendary stuff.

Ramon “Diamond” Dekkers is widely regarded as a muay Thai legend. His story has inspired muay Thai athletes all over the world to follow in his footsteps or to become better practitioners. It really is something of a fairy-tale… Ramon grew up in Breda, Holland, and at the age of 13 began training with his one and only coach Cor Hemmers who later became his step-father. He began fighting at 16, and soon earned a reputation as a heavy hitter after a string of KO wins against more experienced opponents. In 1987 at the age of 18 Dekkers won his first Dutch muay Thai title.

In 1990, after several wins over top Thai opponents in the Netherlands and France, Dekkers was invited to fight the best of the best at Lumpinee stadium, Thailand. It was at this stadium where Ramon Dekkers would cement his name as a muay Thai legend by beating Thai champions at their national sport. Soome of the names on Dekkers’ list of wins at Lumpinee include Superlek Sorn E-Sarn, Sombat Sor Thanikul, Coban Lookchaomaesaitong, and James Bond.

Dekkers announced his final retirement at his K-1 World Grand Prix fight in Amsterdam 2006. Ramon died at the age of 43 from a heart attack while cycling in his hometown of Breda. Many regard Dekkers as the most “successful” or the most important westerner ever to lace up gloves. OK, he never became Lumpinee champion like other westerners did after him, but it’s the context in which he achieved all of his success which counts for much more than that.