The fans cheering on the clash of fists - and knees - at the first ever World Boxing Council (WBC) sanctioned Muay Thai title fight in Queen Elizabeth Stadium tonight can thank a wintry meeting between a king and a president, said the secretary general of WBC Muay Thai. Patrick Cusick said that although the WBC made the decision to branch out from traditional boxing and into martial arts in March this year, the seeds for the idea were planted long before. 'It actually all got started in November 2001 when WBC president Jose Sulaiman met the King of Thailand and they talked about [setting up a WBC Muay Thai Commission],' Cusick said yesterday. 'The king wanted it. He wanted to see Muay Thai get a high level of international recognition and stature.' Tonight's competition, billed X-plosion Hong Kong 2005, the Nite of Champions, will feature two IMF (International Muaythai Federation) China title fights, three world title fights and one Pan-Pacific fight in addition to a WBC heavyweight fight. At least six countries will be represented, giving this seven-bout fight card an international flavour. Cusick said international appeal was a major reason why WBC decided to hold its first Muaythai fight here. 'Like in boxing, people are going to pay the most attention to the heavyweight division. Most of Thai fighters just don't reach the size for that division,' he said. Hong Kong's cosmopolitan nature makes it a perfect first stop for an international series that will culminate in a World Championship in Las Vegas later this year, Cusick said. Alex Tsui Ka-kit, chairman of the Khunchieng Muay Thai Society and president of the Hong Kong Boxing Association, said: 'This event features a selection of the best premier fighters in the world Muay Thai circuit today.' The WBC heavyweight intercontinental Asia title (100 kg) will be between the 'Tiger of Jiang Xu', Fujian's Zhang Qingjun, and Marek 'The Jet' Boguscewicz of Britain.