Elite Boxing, in collaboration with One Songchai, is organizing the Thailand vs. Challengers Muay Thai Competition, which will tour Europe later in the year. Here, we speak to one of the participating female boxers, Zaza Sor Aree about how she ended up in the ring.

How did your passion for boxing start?
I played a lot of sports when I was a kid, and my favorite was actually horse riding. But because my father is a former boxer, he taught me how to fight. I really enjoyed it and wanted to take it seriously. After three months of training, my dad sent me to a fight at a temple fair in Saraburi. I won my first match, and I was inspired to keep going.

You’ve been on an international tour. Any memorable matches?
I went to Japan last year for the Muay Thai Challenge. I defeated a Japanese female boxer, who had challenged me, and won the World Professional Muay Thai Federation female 112lbs Champion belt. My first time in Japan, I had to the defend title, and I won.

What do you like about Muay Thai?
Muay Thai is a Thai martial art. It’s called an art because of the beautiful movements we can create, not just punching like in normal boxing. In Muay Thai, we can kick, which can be quite graceful.

What do you think of today’s Muay Thai scene? Where do you fit in?
Muay Thai hasn’t been getting much attention from Thais, who only watch big events, like the Olympics and the Asian Games, neither of which include Thai boxing. I’d love to see Thai boxing become an Olympic event. As a boxer, all I can do is fight. Maybe if I fight more, Thai people will recognize me and start watching the sport.

Are there a lot of female boxers today?
Yes, I’ve seen a lot of new faces and a lot of my female friends are becoming interested and taking Muay Thai courses. But most just think of it as exercise, not a career.