Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The article below was contributed by Stephan Fox, Vice President of The World Muaythai Council and host of Contender Asia

The Contender Asia Season Two
Malaysia Truly Asia

Malaysia has won the bid the host season two of The Contender Asia, despite tough competition fromThailand, Singapore and Macau. Season two is shaping up to be even more successful than season one as the world is in Contender fever. Through The Contender Asia, the world will fall in love with the beauty of Malaysia from the vibrant capitol city of Kuala Lumpur to the mysterious Borneo and with no doubt the world’s most pristine beaches, from Langkawi to Terengganu, and all other places and sights which will be featured during production of the show.

The Contender Asia season two also possesses an aspect that wasn’t afforded to season one (Singapore)
- A world wide qualification process has been set up to promote season two whilst procuring the best of the best to participate on the show. The bar has been raised for this next installment of the popular muaythai reality show. A special 8 minute trailer was produced to promote Malaysia and the representatives of the Malaysian embassies and tourism board have been invited to the events in the various countries to present the Key to Malaysia to the winners.

Millions of people around the world are eagerly awaiting the start of the show and will follow the hopes and dreams of these 19 outstanding sportsmen from all five continents. So far 10 skilled and agile fighters have rightfully qualified for a coveted spot on the show. Prime Ministers, Sport Ministers, national television stations and newspapers, are wishing and hoping that their chosen athlete will bring home the Contender Asia fame and glory.

The first qualifier was held in Stockholm, Sweden. The event was televised on Eurosport, Fox Sport, TV4 and many other channels reaching over 60 countries and had a live audience of over 10,000 spectators. To the delight of Sweden, it was the IFMA bronze medalist Marcus Oberg that took the first spot.

From there, the event moved on to Canada, where the qualifier will be held in 2 legs. The first leg of the mega event was televised in North and South America. The final leg is set for March and will see Alex Ricci and Jesse Miles vying for the chance to represent Canada on the show. The Canadian Prime Minister will preside over the event.

Next up was Spain, and what an event is was! Madrid was in Contender craze. H.E. the Ambassador of Malaysia to Spain invited Spain to Malaysia, and when he presented the belt and key to the winner Rafi Zouheir, it was a Spanish flag fiesta in the 5,000 seater stadium.
Following Spain, was the first of the South American qualifiers, where Marco Pique, a true legend in the sport who took home the gold. His bags are packed and Marco is ready for Malaysia.

Next stop was Cape Town, South Africa, another sold out event which was televised live. Malaysia was advertised in a special presentation and at the end of the 8 man tournament, Bakhalule “The Zulu” Baai earned his place. This was one of the most memorable qualifying events, as the Minister made an emotional speech in which he outlined that sport can make a difference, and he hoped that through the Contender Asia, the world would come closer together, as not only would Malaysia be showcased, but the world will also learn about South Africa through Bakhalule, South African representative on the show.

London was next to host a qualifier, where the best competitors from all over the United Kingdom came together to battle for Britain’s spot on the show. Season one was a mega hit in the UK, aired prime time. The qualifier event was also aired on Sky Sport.
The event was sold out with people queuing for tickets. H.E. the Ambassador of Malaysia to the UK was on hand to present the belt and Key to Malaysia to Jordan Watson. The event received rave reviews from the local press and Sky Sport broadcast the show on 2 replays by popular demand.

Next up was Hong Kong, where it was decided who would be the Chinese contender. The event also televised on a local channel sold out and it was Heung “The Bomber” Pak Wing who earned the spot. Celebrations were in full force in Hong Kong after beating out boxers from the motherland.

Next up was Switzerland to hold a qualifier for the German speaking countries. The event was packed with celebrities from television, political and sports sectors. The event had a huge build up as Switzerland beat out Germany and Austria to host the event. When Swiss fighter Paolo Balicha won the final bout, there was no holding back the roars of the sold out audience. H.E. the Ambassador of Malaysia to Switzerland invited Paolo to his residence to congratulate him on his win.

The event then went down under for the Oceania qualifier. This again was a highlight event. Chandler Arena was packed to over capacity and people had to be turned away at the door for this Fox Sport event. It was Eli Madigan who will represent Australia, which was already in Contender fever from season one, as it was aired prime time.

Next up was Thailand. The event in Bangkok was an international qualifier which saw fighters from 8 different countries. The event was held in honour of H.M. the King’s birthday, televised in 170 countries and had a live audience of over 200,000 spectators.
It was a night where Malaysia made history as to the surprise of the world, it was Malaysia that took home a qualifying spot with Bernard Radin. This will give Malaysia the only country to have two spots on the show, as another event is in planning in Malaysia to qualify another Malaysian fighter.

To Bernard's left is Riaz Mehta, Producer of Contender Asia II, and on the far left of this picture is Stephan Fox, Vice President of WMC.

The last event of 2009 was held in Russia. The Malaysian tourism board showed up in full force to this nation wide telecasted event. It was 3 time world champion Levin Artem who earned the spot to represent Russia.

February and March will see the last remaining qualifiers in the United States, Italy, France, Thailand and the final event on the 1st of April in Malaysia for the last spot on the show to find the second Malaysian fighter.

The last major event will be in Denver, Colorado. The Summer and Winter Olympics IOC Executive Board, GAISF General Assembly along with all 108 recognized World Sports Federation, and all sports media will meet. The event will feature an Exposition Hall where Contender Asia will have a special display. Representatives from the sporting world will be able to preview the Contender Asia's upcoming Season Two. 19 athletes representing 18 countries and 5 continents will embark on the quest of the lives to compete for their country, their families, and themselves to become the champion of all champions and the next Contender Asia champion. More than 500 million people will be on the edge of their seats, crying with the losers, cheering with the winners, learning of the different cultures and will fall in love with a
country that can only be described as truly Asia, Malaysia.


Anonymous said...

Levin Artem is so tall. Macamana org malaysia nak lawan .. Malaysia BOLEH...

Anonymous said...

Congrats Bernard!

Now time to prepare. Pls arrange for fights with some good opponents. And stop fighting the Kompayaks and Tempoyaks.
You'd learn more from losing to a good fighter, than KOing Kompayak in round 1.

Anonymous said...

Good opponent yes but not someone who can damage u and totally kill your contender dream ... Anyways good job guys..

Anonymous said...

When is bernard fighting the South Thailand champion?? I want to fly down to Koh Sah Mui for holidayyy. Is it in Chaweng stadium? Any free tickets :)

Mad Dog

Anonymous said...

Bernard ko masih ajar taekwondo lagi ker . Ke dah lupa asal usul. Harap tak lupa pada taekownodo yang dah banyak ajar kita tentang dunia beladiri ni. Politik kita lagi dasyhat dari muaythai. Apaapa pun kalau turun trengganu jangan lupa singgah. Kirim salam pada boss ko.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Bernard is going to be famous all over the world. Train hard, yeah.
Don't get KOed in 1st round, then you'll be remembered for the wrong reason.

Take Care!

Anonymous said...

to all 8 fighters selected, reach for the skys guys. To participate in Contender Asia, is the ultimate in muay thai.

Go for it. May the best man win!
Hopefully no biased refereeing.
The referee who judged Faizal-Abbas fight should stay away.

SA said...

I think a lot of people are confused about muaythai point system etc. We are organising a seminar on this in May. Why don't you join us.

SA said...

Hi Nyghtsky,
I am getting more info/verification on your comment.
You really sound like a true Contender Asia fan.

Anonymous said...

It's gonna be a Tengku-Faizal final. That's the main dish.
The rest are appetizers...they are there just to make up the number 8.

Anonymous said...

Here's my official ranking of the 8challengers :-

1. Faizal Ramli
2. Tengku
3. Khoo Meng Yang
4. Hamdan
5. Was Jaya
6. Hashim
7. Azwan
8. Alif

Everyone is entitled to his own opinion. This is my own opinion.

Anonymous said...


Ada Cina, Melayu, Iban
Apasal tadak India?
Langsung satu pun tadak.

Tiap-tiap exco kerajaan negeri, ada minimum 1 india.
Sini saya tengok ah...langsung tadak india....satupun.

You semua ingat india tak bagus ka..tomoi.

Makkal Sakhti !!


Anonymous said...

Dear moderator,

I am a die-hard muay thai fan.
Not a fighter though, coz' I hate trainings. If only there are shortcuts to becoming a good fighter...

Just to tell u, I love this blog. Articles are well written, and well presented.
This is the 1st website I read every morning, for the past 2 weeks.

For a novice blogger, you are doing a great job. The boxxtomoi blogspot is good as well...but I still prefer this tigers blog.

the 'bernard radin' blog is a disaster. There's nothing new for past months. Time to give VSS and terminate the moderator for that blog.

Anonymous said...

19 athletes representing 18 countries and 5 continents will embark on the quest of the lives to compete for their country, their families, and themselves to become the champion of all champions and the next Contender Asia champion.

Question :- Why 19? Isn't it supposed to be 16?

Anonymous said...

are they really the best muay thai fighters IN THE WORLD?

Anonymous said...

no i dont think so.
Yodsanklai is not there. Buakaw is not there. remy bonjasky is not there. badr hari is not there.
i am not there ;-)

Anonymous said...

yeah anon, way to go...

SA said...

Thank you for the compliment, fyi this blog is a team effort,the muaythai tigers are a team, we work together, the info here is contributed from various members of our team. Then put together in this blog.

Our main target is to help build Muaythai in Malaysia and to prioritize the athlete.

Anonymous said...

Best of Luck Coach Bernard
(BEAR HEART)..Hunt and bring back Contender belt to MTA Tambun.

From JOI,LAN & AWA..MTA Khru.

Hidup IBAN...

Anonymous said...

Tengku - faizal final??? What if they undi and both of them are in the same grou?

Anonymous said...

Bro, trust me, there will be no undi. U will easy passage for some boxers.

SA said...

There will be group A & B and the drawing of lots will be done by the respective fighters managers at the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

Anonymous said...

apa punya malang la tengku... dah menang super 4 terpaksa lawan super 8 pulak.. kenapa la tak dibawaknya tengku masa international qualifier lawan budak jerman haritu kat thailand.. tak guna la buat super 4 haritu, penonton tertipu. super 4 dulu khoo kalah masuk lagi super 8 tapi tengku juara tapi masuk balik super 8... kalau tengku juara super 8 agaknya akan ada lagi qualifier yang tengku kena pergi iaitu super 16 agaknya...

Anonymous said...

In shah alam it's international superfight and not contender qualifier

Anonymous said...

Hi Nyghtsky,

I thought there was an earlier posting from you that Khem Fairtex was the winner of the Super 8 CA2 qualifier at the King's Cup in Bangkok.

Kindly help to clarify.

Anonymous said...

there will be some changes to the fighter listing if the winner at each country doesnt have good personality/character and doesnt speek english.

South Africa qualifier

Anonymous said...

Tengku kena ambik kursus English!

Anonymous said...

meaning, if you won, but u cannot speak english then you are out?

Anonymous said...

To South Africa qualifier,

No such word as 'speek'.
Correct word is 'speak'.

Oops...Your place is also now in jeopardy.

Anonymous said...

If Tengku wins Super 8, will he be kicked out because he doesn't have good command of english, and the runner-up takes over his place.
Tengku...sudah jatuh ditimpa tangga! Kesihan!

Maybe we should have an English TOEFL test for the 8 qualifiers.
If just Khoo passes, then we send Khoo to CA2. No need for Super 8 fights.

SA said...

Congratulations 'South Africa Qualifier' and thanks for the comment. We seem to have an English teacher in our midst.I now blog with the Oxford dictionary next to me :)Don't mind him, he's always picking fault with me too. Anyway I'm sure the producers won't be giving all the fighters a written test but CA2 is a reality show and therefore I think the ability to communicate would definitely be a bonus for any fighter. Don't you agree?

Khem Fairtex was chosen to represent Bangkok area, or the central Thailand, and recently they had the Southern selections, I'm assuming these fighters will meet to determine who represents Thailand.

Anonymous said...

I've been sponsored by my government for english class. My friend from Russia levin artem is going for classes too. Wish us luck. They will be a big event in Jamaica. Big fighter names buokaw, yod, wayne parr all will befighting. Your malaysia team arly and fuzal is in list too. Good luck malasie. South Africa Qualifier.

student form 3 smktj said...

patut buang perkataan asia... contender asia tapi ada kanada, sepanyol,rusia? ni semua negara asia ke?separuhnya dari luar asia.. dalam sukan asia pon takde sepanyol,rusia ni..

SA said...

I'm glad you and Artem are going for English classes,what a positive attitude you two have.

Rancangan ini dipanggil 'Contender Asia' kerana rancangan 'Contender' memang sudah wujud iaitu rancangan realiti boxing. 'Asia' dalam 'Contender Asia' maksudnya seni Asia iaitu Muaythai yang dipertandingkan. 'Fighter' CA2 memang dipilih dari seluruh pelusuk dunia.

Anonymous said...

The Contender = Boxing
The Contender Asia = Muaythai(Sukan dari Asia)