Dmitry and Maria Valent are masters of Thai boxing and spouses. They have been married for one year only but acquainted for more than nine years. They met during competitions.
Dmitry had been engaged in Tae Kwon Do for a couple of years before he went in Thai boxing. As for Maria, she had liked Kung Fu but always wanted to try some martial arts.
They visit different gyms but Dmitry helps Maria to prepare for competitions. She has a dream to become a world champion. Though she’d already had a moment when she wanted to give it all up but luckily soon enough she realized how much she was missing sport.
They have been in Thai boxing for more than ten years but have never applied their skills in real life, we hope they will never have to.
Thai boxing is becoming rather popular in Belarus these days – new schools are appearing, mainly thanks to advertising. Belorussian guys take medal places at world competitions, their results inspire more teens to come.
Thai boxing is rather spectacular but too tough.
Dmitry has built a successful sports career, today he’s a coach in the Ministry of Sport and Tourism and a reigning world champion.
He started to show good results when he was seventeen.
Thai boxing is not a classic type of sport with huge earnings. It has started to develop at a professional level just recently. Structures where sportsmen are paid well do exist but it’s still hard to become a part of that world. Though Maria wants to make sport the main source of income, it’s hard to do so. Women’s fights are paid worse than men’s ones, besides, they are arranged rather seldom.
In ordinary boxing a sportsman has a gradual career, he participates in fights to win his rating. Here, in Thai boxing, everything is different, these guys are simply made to enter a prize ring, even if they’re not ready. Ordinary boxing is more serious, Thai boxing is more fair, as Maria says. Those who win in Thai boxing – they really deserve their medals. No pain no gain.
The one who wins the world or European championship gets 48 million rubles (approximately 1 million 370 thousand dollars).
A sportsman of the highest level may be paid ten thousand dollars at most for a fight, while in ordinary boxing professionals are paid hundreds of thousands. Lack of financing is still a serious problem for Thai boxing development in Belarus, though they have a unique school and talented guys there.