Murray swaps court for ring as he tackles 'The Thai Tyson' of kickboxing

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The Independent Online

Andy Murray is convinced he can muscle in on the world's top eight players and land a place in the lucrative season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai, but whether the skinny Scot will still have a head today should be his more pressing concern.

The 19-year-old Murray certainly needs his head looking at after agreeing to fight not one but two kickboxing experts in Thailand where he is playing in the Bangkok Open.

Murray, no doubt buoyed by a teenager's sense of immortality, will face the 47-year-old Khaosai Galaxy - known in his pomp as "the Thai Tyson" - and Somluck Kamsing, who won an Olympic boxing gold medal at flyweight in 1996. Kickboxing allows punching, kneeing, elbowing and kicks to the face and is regarded as one of sport's most brutal disciplines.

"He has to learn to fight first, so I'll go easy on him. But I won't be letting him win," Somluck said.

Galaxy was a kickboxing world champion in the early 1980s, before turning to boxing, where he won the world super flyweight title. Since retiring in 1991 he has concentrated on acting.

The 33-year-old Somluck has also forged a career in showbusiness, which is all good news for Murray - who, despite having sparred with Britain's Olympic boxing silver medallist Amir Khan, could not be said to possess the physique of a pugilist.

Quite what shape he will be in when he steps into the ring also remains to be seen. Murray's first exertion of the day is on court against Tim Henman.

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