Richard Smith – A Glimpse into the Life and Career of a Muay Thai Champion

Muay Thai, also known as Thai Boxing, originated in Thailand as a combat sport. It is known for its striking techniques that utilize fists, elbows, knees, and shins. A Muay Thai fighter’s life is centered around training and preparation. In Thailand, they typically start training very young and continue to do so for years to hone their skills. They engage in various training techniques such as shadowboxing, pad work, heavy bag work, sparring, and strength and conditioning. For any sportsperson, winning championship titles is a significant achievement representing years of dedication, hard work, and commitment, but fighters build their names and reputations away from the spotlight, building up experience fighting and climbing the ladder while putting in hours, months, and years of hard training and sacrifice. 

At the end of their career, deciding to part ways from the sport and call for retirement can be a difficult decision. Retirement is a personal choice that may involve transitioning into coach roles. 

Over the years, many fighters have emerged from a successful career to pass on their knowledge and experience and become coaches. The 3x British, Commonwealth, and European Champion, Richard Smith, is an example of a Muay Thai Fighter who has devoted his life to this sport even after retiring as a fighter.

The Muay Thai coach and former fighter Richard Smith has trained several Muay Thai champions, including Liam Harrison, Andy Howson, and Jordan Watson. Smith is the mind behind Founding one of the UK’s best-known and most successful Muay Thai gyms. 

Smith’s interest in martial arts began at 16 when he trained in Muay Thai under Mike Zamiteas at Chesterfield Cobras. Later, he trained under Thohsaphol Sitiwatjana (Master Toddy) and his brother, Somaphat (Master A), at their gym in Manchester. Smith was drawn to Muay Thai because of its physical and mental demands and opportunities for personal growth and development. Smith’s fighting career spanned 17 years of over 80 professional fights in various countries, including Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Kazakhstan, and Thailand. He retired in 2002 to focus on coaching.

Richard Smith’s Muay Thai fighting career was marked with numerous achievements. He won several titles during his active years as a professional fighter. Smith’s first notable achievement was winning the ITBF Middleweight British Champion title in 1996. He followed that up with another victory in the same division the following year, winning the ITBF Super Middleweight British Champion title in 1997.

In 1998, he secured two more championship titles, the WKA middleweight British Champion and the WKA Super middleweight British title. In 2000, Smith became the WAKO Pro Middleweight Commonwealth Champion in Liverpool by knocking out the current Champion, local hero Phil Barton.

Two years later, in 2002, Smith won the WAKO Pro Middleweight European Champion title at Leeds Town Hall on Bad Company Gyms’ own promotion against the then Champion David Dallalio from Italy.

After moving to Leeds in 1991 to work as a chartered surveyor, Smith founded the Bad Company Muay Thai Gym. At the time, there were no Muay Thai gyms in Leeds, so he started the gym part-time in a community hall on Roundhay Road until 1998, when he established it full-time in Harehills, Leeds. He has trained many world-class fighters who have won national and international titles all over the world.

As a coach, Smith has trained numerous champions, including Liam Harrison, Andy Howson, Jordan Watson, James France, Joe Craven, Lisa Houghton-Smith, Mateusz Duczmal, and others, some of the best known Muay Thai fighters ever produced in the UK. His gym was named the Yorkshire Evening Post Amateur Sports Team of the Year in 2012 and the Thaifighter UK Muay Thai Gym of the Year in 2013 and 2017.

In addition to his work with his gym, Smith has traveled worldwide as a coach with fighters on event promotions, including One Championship, Glory, Enfusion, Bellator, and the All Japan Kickboxing Federation (AJKF). As of 2022, he is training three fighters, Liam Harrison, Jacob Smith, and Amber Kitchen, who are signed to One Championship.

Smith’s dedication to Muay Thai and his success as a coach and trainer has been recognized through various awards, including the Leeds Sports Federation’s Coach of the Year award and UK Coach of the Year. He was also awarded the WBC Muay Thai International Trainer of the Year award in 2022.

Related News

The 17 year old Conservative, Mohammed Ibrahim Mirza Beig, is Helping change America

Alex Pritchard

Assisting Masses in Molding Their Bodies: The Guru in Body Mods who Makes People “FeelGood”

Joyce Burns

3 Heating Options to Install in Your Home Ready for Winter

Flora Goodman

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More