‘He Always Cheered Me On’ – Superlek Reflects On Difficult Loss Of His Uncle Ahead Of ONE 165
The right support is often crucial to success, and “The Kicking Machine” Superlek Kiatmoo9 has gone through every step of his incredible martial arts journey alongside his uncle, Pun Iamsiri.
During preparations for his ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Title defense at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Superlek got the shocking news that his uncle had died
Remembering one of his biggest supporters, “The Kicking Machine” said:
“My uncle was a person who enjoyed combat sports. He watched almost every one of my fights. He always came to cheer me on when I fought at the old Lumpinee Stadium or Rajadamnern Stadium. He also liked to watch my teammates fight.
“I always felt good when my uncle cheered me on. It was nice to have family members come to watch and enjoy the fight.”
It was a massive blow for Superlek to receive the news ahead of his colossal battle with Japanese icon Takeru, but there was no doubt his uncle would have wanted the show to go on.
So, instead of shutting down, the 28-year-old continued his training with a heavy heart:
“I was in fight camp when he died. That day, my mother called me. This is quite unusual because my mother rarely calls me, but I missed it because I was teaching.
“Then my brother sent me a message asking if I would come home. I asked him, ‘Why do I have to come?’ And he said, ‘Don’t you know that our uncle just passed away?’ I was in shock for a while. Then I learned that he had died of an illness.
“But my family told me to keep training. Just come to the funeral. I returned home to attend the funeral in the morning and came back to the gym in the evening.”
Superlek: ‘I Fight For My Family’
After making a living as a fighter for many years, Superlek Kiatmoo9 has learned how to treat combat as a job and separate it from his personal life.
For that reason, he was able to keep himself together to complete his training camp for ONE 165 – even in the face of a devastating loss.
Something else that kept him going was a belief that his late uncle, Pun Iamsiri, will be looking down and cheering as he aims for a monumental victory over Takeru Segawa on January 28:
“My uncle’s death didn’t affect my preparation because I am a person who can separate personal matters from training.
“I believe my uncle will be watching my fight from above. He will wait to see my success up there.”
Given the scale of this match, Superlek didn’t need any more inspiration to succeed, but his desire to put on a memorable performance in his uncle’s memory will add some extra fuel to the fire.
When he steps out to face Takeru in front of the Japanese striker’s home fans, the Kiatmoo9 Gym representative wants to make a powerful statement and retain his belt in emphatic fashion.
“[As well as my uncle], I will fight for everyone. I fight for my family and all Thai people. I want to keep this belt in Thailand.
“I have a lot of motivation for this fight. I get to defend my belt in Japan against the top-ranked fighter there. I want to show all the Japanese people that I can defeat their hero.
“I badly want to knock him out as quickly as possible, even though I know this will not be an easy task.”