Behind every world-class athlete like Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex, there is a team of people who help to make them great.
Managers, coaches, and training partners have all done their part to mold “The Hero” into one of the greatest martial artists of his generation, but no person has been as important as his mother.
She has always looked out for her son and done everything in her power to make sure he lived a happy and successful life.
Yodsanklai's prize winnings all went to his biggest fan Kuala Lumpur | 7 December | 6:30PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onedestiny18
Posted by ONE Championship on Tuesday, 27 November 2018
In fact, one of Yodsanklai’s earliest memories is from a time when he needed her protection.
“I remember being about 5 or 6 years old. My mother brought me to the fields while she cut sugar cane,” he explains.
“There were a couple of dogs that charged me, and my mother chased them away.”
Growing up in Nong Bua Lamphu, Yodsanklai also often helped his mother out in the grocery shop she ran.
However, as a single parent, she was also forced to sacrifice time with her son to ensure she could provide for him.
“In order to earn a living, my mother had to leave me with my aunt when I was much younger. I know that was very difficult for her,” he adds.
The two-time Lion Fight Muay Thai World Champion also admits he and his brother were not free from discipline. He says she did not hesitate to spank them when they misbehaved.
Yodsanklai's strikes are _____ !Kuala Lumpur | 7 December | 6:30PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onedestiny18
Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, 24 November 2018
However, her efforts were all to make sure they stayed on the right path to succeeded in life.
Yodsanklai’s mother was the person who first took him to a Muay Thai gym, which laid the foundation for a lucrative career in the ring. As he developed his skills and started to compete, she also became his biggest fan.
“She watches and cheers every single fight,” he explains.
“[She has been to] almost all of them, actually. She has even been to some of the overseas fights.
“Whenever I compete, the person who is most excited is my mother. She is the happiest every time I win.”
As well as encouraging the man known to Muay Thai fans as “The Boxing Computer” in every one of his athletic endeavors, she has also been a valuable counsel to her son.
Though she may not have been able to teach him how to perfect his roundhouse kick, she has always given him valuable advice.
There is one lesson in particular that Yodsanklai holds close to his heart.
“My mother taught me that family is everything – that you can always count on your family,” he says.
The 33-year-old has run with that mantra and paid it forward as soon as he started to experience success. Helping to provide for her was one of the main motivations in his career.
The world was made aware of that fact in 2008 when Yodasanklai won The Contender Asia – a tournament featuring 16 of the best Muay Thai athletes on the planet.
Though “The Hero” was already a multiple-time world champion, this reality show was broadcast around the globe, which introduced him to martial arts fans across every continent.
When he won the US$150,000 prize as champion, he immediately announced he would build his mother a house in his hometown of Nong Bua Lamphu. It was just one way in which he looks after his mother and gives back to her after a lifetime of support.
“It was my main driving force,” he explains.
“I was very proud to be able to build my mother a house. It was a long-time goal of mine, and it was actually the plan going into The Contender Asia.
“I provide for my mother every month. I’ve bought her a car, take her on vacations, and spend much of my time with her.”
Yodsanklai will return to action in the main event of ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS on 7 December in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
In the Axiata Arena, he will take on Luis “Soot Raaeng Geert” Regis in a ONE Super Series featherweight Muay Thai contest.
Just like all of his other matches, he will step under the lights to provide for his family, and his mother will support him every step of the way.