Photo from Xtreme Knockout
Fighting to Show the World She Can.
Five feet tall, 184 lbs and out of shape. That was Jennifer Chanthavong in 2017 when she walked into a local gym. Flash forward to 2021 and she is a fierce up-and-coming Muay Thai fighter competing in the highly competitive 115lb bracket.
Jennifer “Sao Lao” Chanthavong was born in Grand Prairie Texas to parents who immigrated from Laos to the United States at a young age. Her father is from Pakse while her mother is originally from Vientiane. Growing up she felt the pressure of a very traditional Asian household often feeling that she was not good enough, pretty enough or skinny enough to live up to the expectations of others.
That all changed when she started taking kickboxing classes at V-Marshal Arts in nearby Arlington. Intending to focus on personal fitness and weight loss she soon found herself in the ring. “Never wanting to fight and fighting was not a goal. However fast forward a year and I crossed over to Muay Thai, I fell in love with it and one thing led to another and bam fighting at 115lbs now,” Jennifer told said.
Jennifer stepped into the ring for the first time in September of 2018 at a Fury Kickboxing/Muay Thai tournament. “After 3 fights, I won the title and was hooked,” Jennifer said. Jennifer fought several more times in 2019 including winning an XKO Black Tie Event. The Covid-19 pandemic has limited sporting events and Jennifer would not enter the ring again until October of 2020 when she faced Cristian Vital at a Blunt Force Trauma event in Oklahoma. As of September 2021, she has a record of 5-2.
Jennifer‘s normal routine is to train five days a week but six weeks before a fight she enters fight camp where she trains six days including three two a days. When asked what her goal was Jennifer responded by saying, “I want to show the world that I am good enough to accomplish anything I put my mind to. Right now that is being the best 115lb female in Muay Thai and winning titles. There's a lot of stiff coemption at 115 pounds. I have my work cut out for me.”
Photo by Sean Malone -I Shoot Fights
About this Article
Information for this article was collected from interviews with Jennifer Chanthavong and V-Fit Marshal Arts. A special thank you to XKO.