This coming Friday, 31 July, “The Boxing Computer” Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex will try to topple ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Champion Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy at ONE: NO SURRENDER in Bangkok, Thailand.
And when he enters the Circle, Yodsanklai will have the enduring support of the woman who has been there for him from the very beginning.
“I remember being about 5 or 6 years old. My mother brought me to the fields while she cut sugarcane,” he says. “There were a couple of dogs that charged me, and my mother chased them away.”
Yodsanklai certainly learned toughness from his mother, but he was also taught invaluable lessons about the importance of being there for those who need you.
“My mother taught me that family is everything – that you can always count on your family,” the 35-year-old says.
“The Boxing Computer,” who was recently married, will take his mom’s advice as he begins to build his own family. But because of his famed career, he won’t have to worry about enduring the hard times that he and his mother experienced.
While raising Yodsanklai in the Nong Bua Lamphu province, the Fairtex representative’s matriarch often asked extended family members to care for her son while she worked the fields to earn money – and the superstar athlete knows that must’ve broken her heart.
“In order to earn a living, my mother had to leave me with my aunt when I was much younger,” he says. “I know that was very difficult for her.”
Even from a distance, the woman who tirelessly swung a cane knife to provide for her family reminded Yodsanklai that his talent in “the art of eight limbs” could one day ease the family’s financial burden.
“When I was young, she always called me and told me to focus on my training. She told me to do it for the family since we were poor,” he continues.
“My mom was the one who pushed me, so I was very focused and determined with Muay Thai.”
That motivation worked. “The Boxing Computer” went on to become a Lumpinee Stadium Flyweight and Welterweight World Champion – just two of more than a dozen titles he has earned throughout the course of his stellar career.
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But one of Yodsanklai’s proudest moments happened after he defeated John Wayne Parr at The Contender Asia Finale in April 2008. By winning the 16-man Muay Thai tournament on the hit reality television show, he received the US$150,000 prize as champion.
Once he got the prize money, the Thai hero immediately announced that he would build his mother a house in their hometown.
“I was very proud to be able to build my mother a house. It was a longtime goal of mine, and it was actually the plan going into The Contender Asia,” he says.
“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'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, November 27, 2018
Also, whenever the Thai legend has a fight lined up, whether it is on home soil or abroad, his mom is always right by his side to encourage him.
“Whenever I compete, the person who is most excited is my mother. She is the happiest every time I win. She watches and cheers every single fight,” Yodsanklai says.
“When I went to bouts, like at Lumpinee, she was always there for me. [She has been to] almost all of them, actually. She has even been to some of the overseas fights.”
In fact, his mother has been such a staple that some Muay Thai enthusiasts can only picture them together.
“She was always there until the fans knew her and said that if she wasn’t there, they were not sure if I was really Yodsanklai,” he adds.
Unlike skeptics, however, “The Boxing Computer” truly knows who he is, and that’s because of the love, support, and advice he receives from the woman responsible for forging one of the greatest fighters on the planet.
“When I have something bothering me or any concerns, she is the one who helps me figure things out,” he says.
“She is my advisor who always listens and finds the way to solve problems for me. She is [my] most trusted confidante. She is my greatest advisor. The reason I am where I am today is because of my mom.”
Yodsanklai will try to make her proud once again when he challenges for the ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Title on Friday.