LIGHT flyweight lethwei champion Moe Tee was killed in a road accident last week after the motorcycle he was driving was hit by a speeding bus travelling in opposite direction. He was 34.
The head-on collision occurred February 9 at about 9pm near the Ma Saw Bridge in Bilin town of Mon State. He died on the spot.
His fans and colleagues in the ring called Moe Tee’s demise untimely and a grave loss to the lethwei establishment in Myanmar.
“He wasn’t just a friend but more like a brother to me. We have had some great designs on the future of lethwei in this country, but now he has departed. I can’t find the right words to express how saddened I am by his premature death,’’ said Moe Tee’s former colleague in the ring and a champion as well, Saw Nga Mann, speaking to The Myanmar Times.
Moe Tee embarked on a career in the ring at Myanmar Pyi Thar lethwei gym while still in his teens. Moe Tee is his ring name: his real name was Yazar Htun aka Thar Sit Naing.
He was crowned champion of the light flyweight division in 2009. His most recent fight was against a Muaythai fighter at the Tuang Ka Lay lethwei tournament last December: it ended in a draw.
Besides lethwei, Moe Tee was accomplished at wushu as well. He occasionally refereed fights at lethwei tournaments and was a mentor to up-and-coming fighters.
“He was small and short but he was quick and oozing with talent, and matchless in the light flyweight category. I say it with a heavy heart the country has lost one of the greatest lethwei fighters of all time,” said Aung Thu, a regular at Moe Tee’s fights.
Moe Tee is survived by his wife and two young sons. The lethwei federation has pledged K10 lakh in support to his family.