‘I Can Help People Overcome Their Fears’ – How Edgar Tabares Is Inspiring Mexico’s Growing Muay Thai Community
Mexican striker Edgar Tabares is proudly carrying the torch for his nation’s Muay Thai contingent in the world’s largest martial arts organization.
The 29-year-old will soon return to Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok for a pivotal flyweight showdown against American-Malaysian teen phenom Johan Ghazali at ONE Fight Night 17: Kryklia vs. Roberts on Prime Video.
That matchup will air live in U.S. primetime to more than 190 countries worldwide on December 8, and Tabares can rest assured that legions of his Mexican fans and followers will be tuning in.
Among them will be the students from Kings and Priests Muay Thai – the academy he’s been running since he was a teenager.
Tabares recently spoke to onefc.com about his journey as a gym owner:
“I didn’t have many students [initially], and it wasn’t until I started growing as a fighter that people started recognizing me and going to my academy. I really like how I can help people overcome their fears. It’s what’s given me the motivation to continue with my academy.”
From humble beginnings with just a handful of students, Kings and Priests is now home to dozens of professional and amateur Muay Thai fighters, including WBC Mexican Champions and IFMA Champions.
Tabares says he’s been blown away by the success of his academy, which is now regarded as one of the top gyms in Mexico and a driving force behind the growth of Muay Thai in the country:
“I was always surprised at how many people wanted to sign up and train at my academy. I thought to myself, ‘Where are all these people coming from?’ I was always blessed in that aspect.”
More than just a thriving business, Tabares says his gym and the students who train there provide him with motivation to succeed in his own fighting career.
After nearly 40 professional bouts and a WBC Muay Thai International Championship to his name, the Mexican scrapper is still finding inspiration in the rising stars under his tutelage.
“There are times where I don’t want to train, but then I see them and remember my purpose.
“I’m under a lot of pressure, but my students are part of my motivation and part of my psychological preparation. They can’t see their professor be undisciplined because then how will I ask for them to be disciplined?”
Tabares Aims To Be ‘Spark’ For Future Of Mexican Muay Thai
Beyond his work in bringing up some of Mexico’s most promising young strikers, Edgar Tabares hopes to serve as an inspiration for the country’s ever-evolving Muay Thai community.
Even though he’s struggled against top-tier opposition thus far in ONE Championship – losing to flyweight Muay Thai kingpin Rodtang Jitmuangnon and Kickboxing World Title challenger Elias Mahmoudi – Tabares says fans continue to see him as a torchbearer:
“Now that I’ve been in front of the camera lately, people have let me know that they look up to me. Despite everything that has happened to me this year, people continue telling me that I’m an inspiration to them.”
Ultimately, Tabares hopes to not only achieve greatness in ONE but to also lead the way for Mexican Muay Thai on the global stage.
“I want people to remember me as a pioneer in the sport. I don’t want to be Mexico’s star because stars die out. I want to be remembered as a spark that was able to help many people accomplish their dreams in and out of fighting.
“I want people to remember that I never quit, and that if I was able to accomplish great things, so can they.”