Samuel Toscano falls in love with Myanmar and now set to compete for World Lethwei Championship
Kickboxer Samuel Toscano has competed at the highest levels of kickboxing in Europe, but now has his sights set on a new sport, lethwei.
Toscano works as a high school teacher in Como, less than an hour outside Milan, Italy. Last year during the holidays, he traveled to Myanmar to learn about the ancient martial art of lethwei. Intrigued by the sport, he trained with some of the country’s best lethwei fighters, while taking in a World Lethwei Championship show.
He was mesmerised by the whole experience, from its cultural showcase of traditional Burmese music and art to the world-class sporting action on display. It was at that moment watching lethwei king Dave Leduc win the Cruiserweight World Lethwei Championship that Toscano decided to move into lethwei.
“It was incredible!” Toscano recalled. “The fans were crazily passionate the whole evening and the energy in the arena was electric. Lethwei is an amazing sport and from that moment I was hooked!”
Toscano returned to Italy but will be back in Myanmar January 31 to realise his dream, when he makes his lethwei debut for the world’s biggest lethwei promotion, World Lethwei Championship. He will compete at WLC: Battlebones, set to take place at Thein Phyu Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.
Toscano gushed about the opportunity and how he would make the most out of it. He shared, “I am excited that I get this opportunity. Since I learned about lethwei, this is what I wanted to do and now I finally get the chance.”
For some, transitioning to another sport is impossible. For Toscano however, it is just his way of living his martial arts dream.
Toscano takes on Myanmar’s Saw Kaung Htet in the main card of WLC: Battlebones. The event will be live on Canal+ and UFC Fight Pass on 31 January at 6.30 pm (Myanmar time / GMT+6:30).