But the pandemic has hit Muay Thai hard, with tournaments and stadiums the first to close due to a cluster of infections discovered at one large-scale event in early March.
Without any income, many fighters have returned to their home provinces where training has stalled.
“Overnight, everything stopped,” says Somiong, a 24-year-old ethnic Karen boxer who returned to Kanchanaburi province after the stadium ban.
He and Sarawut have joined millions who are out of work because of the virus, which has ravaged Thailand’s tourism, entertainment and restaurant industries.
The government promised a monthly cash handout of 5,000 baht (US$150) to affected workers.
But boxers without a specific license are not eligible for the aid, says Jade Sisisompan of the World Muay Thai Organization, who is also the co-owner of Luktupfah gym.
“It can quickly become catastrophic,” she says. “Most have been fighting since they were children and can do nothing else.”