Fil-Ams in Vegas try their luck in Muay Thai

By Bev Llorente, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Oct 16 2012 08:12 PM | Updated as of Oct 17 2012 04:12 AM

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Four Filipino-American Muay Thai fighters strutted off their skills at the joint showroom inside the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino over the weekend.

Johnny Parsons came out victorious as he defeated his opponent via a split decision at the United States Muay Thai Association (USMTA) event.

Fighting out of Milpitas, California, Miranda Cayabyab, the only Pinoy female Muay Thai fighter of the night, retained her title as judges ruled the fight a draw.

Twenty-six year old Jason Andrada slugged it out with a much taller opponent Victor Perez of Van Nuys, California. But Perez is no match for Andrada’s fighting fortitude and high kicks.

“[I] just keep going just keep swingin until something happens,” said Andrada.

Andrada said that winning the USMTA fight will open a lot of doors to future bouts, and he is willing to switch to the boxing world.

“I want to try boxing, that’ll be awesome. I love boxing! But that’s my last amateur fight so that’s why it’s a big deal to me. Hopefully the next line in my fight card will be pro,” he said.

Meanwhile, 22-year-old Adrian Morillo of San Diego, California marked his fourth loss to veteran fighter, Coke Chunhawat.

“My opponent is a former world champion who has over 160 fights; this was my 18th fight. It’s really just matter of experience, experience beat the young hungry and determined fighter today,” said Morillo.

Former Muay Thai champion Christine Toledo said that more Pinoy fighters are trying out the sport.

“Everybody love to see stand up fighting, I’m not saying that I don’t respect MMA, but it’s a completely different arena,” Toledo, vice president of Lion Promotions, said.

“But with the standup there’s a lot going on, there’s a lot of striking and it’s nonstop. With MMA, when people go on the ground it slows down.”

Toledo said that the prize money in Muay Thai is not much, compared to boxing or MMA, but it is a sport rich in culture and history that is now being embraced worldwide.