Oley Kiatoneway

Oley Kiatoneway: Unveiling the Enigma of “The Black Pearl” – Best Fights & Biography

Have we ever encountered a Muay Thai gem so rare, so unique, that it defied comparison? Imagine a fighter whose style was as elusive and captivating as a black pearl, standing out amidst the sea of conventional prowess.

Enter Oley Kiatoneway, affectionately dubbed “The Black Pearl of Andaman” by spectators in Bangkok’s biggest stadiums during the golden age. In a realm dominated by raw power and brute force, Oley’s journey unveils the allure of finesse and technique, where skill transcends sheer strength. But how did this unassuming warrior carve his niche in the annals of combat sports?

Name:Oley Kiatoneway
Birth Name:Prasit Thaikaew
Thai Name:ประสิทธิ์ ไทยแก้ว
Date of Birth:April 13th 1973 
Place of Birth:Thung Song, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, Thailand
Nicknames:Black Pearl of Andaman, Black Pearl
Height:171 cm (5 ft 7 in)
Weight: 56 kg (123 lb; 8 st 11 lb)
Style:Muay Thai, Professional Boxing
Fighting out of:Thung Song, Thailand
Team:Kiatbanchong gym (formerly) Parunchai gym
Oley Kiatoneway – Matrix Fighter

Oley Kitaoneway was born in 1973 into a poor family in Thung Song district, Nakhon Si Thammarat province. Oley’s family didn’t have any existing connections to Muay Thai, so he secretly started training with Kru Wichai Plaikwuang in a small, basic gym near his home. Plaikwuang then gave him the ring name Oley.

At age 12, Oley had his first fight, winning 100 baht. Later, Oley joined the Thung Song branch of the respected Kiatbanchong Muay Thai gyms, training alongside top fighters like Jaroensap, Jaroenthong, and Samranthong. Oley and his teammates eventually moved to the Bangkok branch of Kiatbanchong where he remained for the remainder of his career.

Oley Kiatoneway training with Jaroenthong Kiatbanchong at the Kiatbanchong Gym in Bangkok

At 15, Oley started fighting at Omnoi and Rangsit stadiums, and was quickly noticed by top promoter Songchai Rattanasuban, who had Oley mostly fighting in Lumpinee Stadium from that point onwards. By the late 1980s, Oley was facing elite competition, and had already defeated the likes of Namkabuan Nongkeepahuyuth, Nuathoranee Thongraja, Parnpetch Muangsurin and Pairojnoi Sor Siamchai.

Oley Kiatoneway
“The Black Pearl of Andaman” Oley Kiatoneway

Oley’s style earned him the nickname “The Black Pearl of Andaman,” referencing the rarity of his approach to fighting.

Exploding onto the Scene – 1990

In 1990, aged just 16 years of age, Oley embarked on a quite remarkable string of wins at Lumpinee stadium. He beat legends of the sport such as Tanongchai Charoenmuang, Namkabuan Nongkeepahuyuth, Langsuan Panyuthapum and Parnpetch Muangsurin before challenging Boonlai Sor Thanikul for the 115 lbs Lumpinee title in April.

On the night, the older and more experienced Boonlai ground out a closely contested points victory. Undeterred, Oley flew to Japan the following month to fight Seiji Sugawara, winning via head kick KO.

Oley Kiatoneway vs Seiji Sugawara | May 18th, 1990 – MAJKF Tokyo (KO R2)

Despite Oley’s loss to Boonlai April, Songchai evidently maintained faith in Oley’s potential to deliver a championship-winning performance. This confidence was palpable as Songchai orchestrated a rematch between Oley and Boonlai for the 115 lbs Lumpinee title in June. In a testament to Oley’s resilience, he emerged victorious on this occasion, clinching a points victory over Boonlai.

After becoming a Lumpinee champion at just 17 years old, Oley began a rivalry with a powerful southpaw named Dokmaipah Por Pongsawang who was a former 112 lbs and 115 lbs Lumpinee champion. They fought three times that year, with Oley winning two, including one KO victory for Oley.

Dokmaipah Por Pongsawang (left) vs Oley Kiatoneway (right)
Dokmaipah Por Pongsawang (left) pictured with Oley Kiatoneway before their match-up | 1990

This led to a title defence in New Zealand against “Top Master” Karuhat Sor Supawan who was a former 112 lbs Lumpinee champion. Oley won the fight on points, successfully defending his 115 lbs title against the older and more experienced technical fighter.

In 1991, Oley faced many tough opponents, among them a former Lumpinee Champion, Wangchannoi Sor Palangchai, known as the “33-second Puncher” for his swift knockout victory over Namkabuan just two months prior. Wangchannoi defeated Oley on points, resulting in Oley’s gym losing a 600,000 baht side-bet. However, Oley bounced back two months later, securing a victory over Wangchannoi via a judges’ decision.

Over the following 18 months, Oley enjoyed a points victory against Muay Khao Legend Langsuan Panyuthapum, a TKO win (doctor’s stoppage) over Dokmaipah, and two wins over Rittichai Lookchaomaesaithong. However, he also faced setbacks, including losses to Superlek Sorn Esarn and two defeats against Boonlai, one of which was a title fight for the 122 lbs Lumpinee title. Additionally, Oley suffered a knockout loss to “Evergreen” Chamuekpet Hapalang at the King’s Birthday event in Bangkok.

Resurgence and Matrix Fighter Status

Amidst this disappointing period, Oley embarked on one of the most incredible winning streaksof that era. From December 1992 until October 1993, he secured victories over Dokmaipah, Wangchannoi, Chamuekpet, Superlek, Namkabuan, Boonlai, and Therdkiat.

Oley Kiatoneway (black) vs Namkabuan Nongkeepahuyuth (red)
Oley Kiatoneway (black) vs Namkabuan Nongkeepahuyuth (red) | June 11th, 1993 – Lumpinee Stadium

Oley was admired for his evasive style, dodging punches with head movements and leaning back to avoid kicks. His agility and ability to read opponents drew comparisons to legends like Samart Payakaroon and Poot Lorlek.

Oley Kiatoneway vs Chamuekpet Hapalang | March 23rd, 1993 – Lumpinee Stadium (Points Victory)
Oley Kiatoneway vs Superlek Sorn Easrn | April 24th, 1993 – Lumpinee Stadium (Points Victory)
Oley Kiatoneway vs Namkabuan Nongkeepahuyuth | June 11th, 1993 – Lumpinee Stadium (Points Victory)
Oley Kiatoneway vs Boonlai Sor Thanikul | July 11th, 1993 – Lumpinee Stadium (Points Victory)
Oley Kiatoneway vs Therdkiat Sittepitak | August 6th, 1993 – Lumpinee Stadium (TKO R1)

He achieved a milestone by knocking out “The King of Lumpinee” Therdkiat Sittepitak, earning his highest purse of 250,000 baht. This made him one of the highest-paid fighters of his time.

This winning streak culminated in a title fight between Oley and Therdkiat for the vacant 126 lbs Lumpinee title, where Therdkiat was seeking revenge following his loss to Oley two months earlier. Therdkiat eventually won the bout via a split decision after five rounds of technical mastery from both fighters.

Therdkiat (left) vs Oley Kiatoneway (right)
Therdkiat (left) vs Oley Kiatoneway (right) October 5th, 1993 – Lumpinee Stadium (Points Defeat)

Early Burn Out

Later in 1993, Oley concluded a six part series with Namkabuan, losing by decision. In total, the pair shared three victories apiece over the best part of a decade. He also lost a points decision to Matee Jadeepitak, a technical master and elbow specialist on the rise at Lumpinee.

In March, 1995, after being away from the fight scene for over a year, Oley returned to fight Jompoplek Sor Sumalee at Lumpinee. Oley lost via judges’ decision. It was to be his last fight in Bangkok.

Later that year, he fought for the PABA Super Bantamweight title (122 lbs) in international rules boxing against Russia’s Alexander Pak. He lost by knockout in the first round. Oley had a total of four professional boxing bouts between 1991 and 1994, with two wins and two losses.

Oley Kiatoneway Legacy

Due to a waning passion for Muay Thai, Oley retired at the young age of 23. For a significant period, he distanced himself from combat sports, opting instead to manage small family restaurants in his hometown of Thung Song. However, his love for Muay Thai persisted, eventually leading him back to the sport as a trainer at the Parunchai gym. Here, he took on the role of coach for Lumpinee champions Saen Parunchai and Chalam Parunchai.

As a Muay Thai trainer, Oley’s mission is to provide children with an avenue to earn income, enabling them to pursue education opportunities.

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