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If the stubby kickboxer with the ring name "Alien" were just a bit taller and heavier, he could have been a contender. At 4 feet 8 inches, Thanakorn Somthorn is shorter than wiry 11-year-olds who skip rope alongside him at training camp in the tropical countryside of central Thailand. But Thanakorn, 20, is punching and kicking his way to renown as the smallest man in kickboxing, or muay thai, Thailand's most popular spectator sport, in which kung fu-style barefoot kicks accompany gloved punches.
Sasha Mitchell, a Westlake actor and kick boxer who stars in the television sitcom "Step by Step," pleaded not guilty Wednesday to assaulting his wife and endangering his young stepdaughter. Wearing an earring and a fashionable blue suit, the 27-year-old defendant was scheduled for trial Monday in Ventura County Municipal Court on one misdemeanor count of spousal abuse.
September 11, 1989 | CHRIS WILLMAN
In lieu of John Cusack mastering the art of kickboxing over in England in "Say Anything II," which may not be forthcoming for a while, alas, fans of the brutal sport have to make do for now with Jean-Claude Van Damme kicking some nasty Thailand booty in the egregiously dull "Kickboxer" (citywide, MPAA-rated R). This may not be the dumbest action picture of the year, but it's not for lack of trying.
September 17, 1989 | DAVID WHARTON, Times Staff Writer
The guys down at the Jet Center gym in Van Nuys won't admit that their beloved sport of kick-boxing has gone Hollywood. But they don't deny that recent events have brought some glitz to the ancient Thai fighting style that had previously been thought of in terms of blood, sweat and toenails.
Six turned out to be the lucky number for Benny (the Jet) Urquidez during his visit to Las Vegas. The undefeated kickboxing legend added the World Karate Assn. light middleweight crown to his collection with a 12-round split decision over Japan's Yoshihisa Tagami before 3,588 at the Mirage Hotel Saturday night. This is the sixth world championship for the 41-year-old Sherman Oaks resident, who remained undefeated after 58 bouts.
July 4, 1989 | STEVE KRESAL, Times Staff Writer
Don Wilson was very patient and Mariano Liano was not, but the results were the same Monday night as professional kickboxing came to Costa Mesa for the first time. Wilson, the World Kickboxing Assn. light-heavyweight champion, stopped Mike Winkeljohn with an overpowering left hook late in the 10th and final round of the non-title main event at the Red Lion Inn in front of about 800.
May 11, 1989
Seven national championships in savate--French kick-boxing--will be decided tonight when the European martial art makes its competitive West Coast debut at The Strand, 1700 Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach. There will be 10 bouts beginning at 7:30. Seven will be for U.S. titles in internationally recognized amateur weight classes. The bouts have the sanction of the California Athletic Commission and will be officiated by a French Federation referee under European rules. Among contestants is Trent Suzuki, a trainer and physical therapist in the Los Angeles area.
February 24, 1989 | RICH TOSCHES, Times Staff Writer
The long-awaited fight between ring legend Sugar Ray Leonard and kickboxer Benny (The Jet) Urquidez is finally, undeniably, definitely . . . pretty unlikely. A lavish press conference conducted by Urquidez's manager and the owner of a local public-relations firm was held in Van Nuys on Thursday to announce the upcoming match. Urquidez was there, too, explaining how he was going to land so many kicks to the head that Leonard's ears were going to look like Leonard Nimoy's ears.
November 1, 2012 | By Rosemary McClure
Fight to be fit at a new luxury Bangkok hotel that has pulled out all stops to create a wellness center. There's even a boxing ring in the hotel gym where guests can take Thai kickboxing lessons.   The Siam , owned by Thai rock star and actor Krissada Sukosol Clapp, is set on three acres along the Chao Praya River in the royal Dusit district. The all-suite hotel has 39 rooms and an array of fitness and wellness facilities, including a riverfront infinity pool and spa. It also offers yoga, tai chi and lessons in muay Thai, a martial art.   “We wanted to create a unique, authentic Thai experience based on health and wellness,” said Jason Friedman, the hotel's general manager.
March 13, 2005 | Joel Stein
Los Angeles will gay anybody up. In the two months since I moved here, I've bought a yellow convertible Mini Cooper, a pair of Guess jeans and started using one of those fitness balls as my desk chair. This is a town so gay that Republicans don't even run for mayor. So when ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson told Time magazine, in a story about the preponderance of gay TV show creators, that "if being gay makes you that talented, I'm going gay," I had to give it some serious thought.
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