Muay Thai Fighter in Thailand: The Story of Richi Alvarez
“Coming to Thailand changed my life. It pushed me over my limits and taught me that nothing is granted, that everything can change any moment. But, most of all, being a Muay Thai fighter in Thailand made me happier and taught me to live life to the fullest.”
These are the words of Richi Alvarez, a common person who ended up doing extraordinary things. The usual guy next door that one day decided to go beyond his limits and become a Muay Thai fighter in Thailand. That was his dream. His goal.
And you can say he succeeded in his dream of becoming a professional fighter just by checking his stats. He already participated as a professional fighter in eight Max Muay Thai fights and he went inside the ring in Lumpinee three times already. With a successful record of 16 fights won, five draws and five losses, Richi is on a path of becoming the greatest fighter in Thailand.
Why Train Muay Thai?
“I used to plan everything, to have a road map for everything in my life, but that was worthless. It's like in a fight; you suddenly get hit and everything changes”.
For Richi, coming to Thailand and becoming a fighter was not in his plans, even when he was younger and used to set goals for everything. He had lived all his life in Madrid (Spain) before setting afoot into Asia, and when he was younger he never imagined to live this life.
Back to when he was a teenager, Richi tried to be a football player. Until one day decided that he wanted to make a change and try Muay Thai instead. “I went into this gym in Madrid and I saw a lot of tough people kicking bags and sparring, and I thought that probably that wasn't meant for me.” But he kept going back to that gym, learned the basics, and started to enjoy the grind.
“I was only 16 when I started to train Muay Thai, but I fell in love with the sport quite soon, I watched replays of professional fights day and night and Thai Boxing started to be my biggest passion.” It didn't take so long until he was enrolled in a fight in his country. In a few years, he turned to be a professional.
Time went by so fast while Richi was studying and trying to make a name as a Muay Thai fighter in Spain. But something wasn't right. “In one way, Muay Thai in Spain made me tougher to a point I never imagined, but I didn't fit as a fighter in my own country, I wanted something more”.
The problem faced by Richi was mainly his body. Even though he's not short, his weight was only 56 kilograms. In a country where most of the fighters are around 60 to 70 kgs, he felt out of opportunities. “It wasn't right, I never got the chance to fight against powerful opponents, and I felt discouraged as it seemed that nobody cared about me, that no one believed in me”.
But he did believed in himself. And then, the idea came across his mind.
“What if I try my luck in Thailand?”
Said and done. Since that moment, Richi aimed for his biggest goal. To live and train Muay Thai in Thailand.
The Road To Be a Muay Thai Fighter in Thailand
Richi had to wait until he finished his degree in Physical Education. "It helped me a lot to know the limits of my body and how to achieve what I was aiming for, I'm glad I studied something related to my passion." Upon graduation, he took a flight to Pattaya and started to train in a gym.
“I was only 22 years old when I arrived in Pattaya, and my goal was to get myself a worthy fight”. At the beginning, he thought that he was likely to encounter a bunch of professional fighters with very strict routines and meal plans, as this is a common thought for someone who wanted to be a Muay Thai Fighter in Thailand. However, it wasn't like that.
“I had to go to Thailand to see for myself that this is not a place for just a few of elite fighters. Everyone can come here, no matter your level.”
The fight came sooner than expected. After a month of training, Richi got his first fight. But it was a one of defeat. “My first opponent used so many tricks and won that fight, so I went for a second fight.”
After three months, Richi had to go back to Spain. But that was just the beginning.
A Life in Thailand Doing What You Love
After his first experience in Thailand, Richi knew his purpose in life is to become a fulltime Muay Thai fighter. But, in order to become the greatest fighter of all time, he knew he needed to move away from his home comfort of Spain. “Buakaw and Saenchai became the greatest from training in Thailand. I will do the same.” After getting in touch with a personal trainer in Khongsittha, he took all his savings and moved to Bangkok.
Today, Richi trains five to six days a week. In the mornings, he focuses on endurance and physical conditioning. In the afternoons, he hones his techniques in the art of Muay Thai. Once a week, he will have his relaxation day by going to the spa and then having a BIG cheat meal.
“Thailand turned me into a happier person, and now I'm a minimalist," says Richi about his simple but wonderful life. He doesn't need cars or luxury, as he has the joy of his own dream. “As I said, you get hit and everything changes. I learned to adapt to every change and to accept better everything that comes into my life.”
Richi always says that Thailand makes him follow an "intense life” that he loves. But, what about those who don't want to be a fighter and prefer to feel the excitement of Muay Thai instead?
“Everyone can come here and live this experience. Beginners and pros are welcome. But I'll tell you something: you will never know if you can do it unless you try. If you want to fight, train to fight. If you want to lose weight, train to lose weight. No matter your goal, if you set your mindset towards it, you can achieve it.”
Of course, Richi affirms that he suffered so many hard times in here, but he doesn't regret it. So, if you want to be a Muay Thai fighter in Thailand same as him, or just want to live his experience, take his same road. What are you waiting for?