Features

How Petchmorakot's Wayward Teenage Years Almost Derailed His Career

Jul 5, 2019

Before he became a superstar at ONE Championship, Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy almost wasted his talent and fell through the cracks of the Muay Thai World.

On Friday, 12 July Petchmorakot will return to action in the main event of ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY against Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan in the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix quarterfinals, but that seemed unlikely just a few years ago.

History will be rewritten when kickboxing legend Giorgio Petrosyan faces Muay Thai superstar Petchmorakot in the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix on 12 July!

The REMATCH is here! On 12 July, kickboxing legend Giorgio Petrosyan faces Muay Thai superstar Petchmorakot in the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix!????: Kuala Lumpur | 12 July | 6PM | ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY????: Get your tickets at ???? http://bit.ly/onemastersofdestiny19????: Check local listings for global TV broadcast????: Watch on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp ????‍????: Prelims LIVE on Facebook | Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE on Twitter

Posted by ONE Championship on Monday, July 1, 2019

Born into a family of rice farmers in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand, Petchmorakot spent a significant portion of his childhood entrenched in poverty, foraging for food.

He began his Muay Thai training when he was 11, and the martial art was life-changing for Petchmorakot and his family.

With the money he earned from competing, Petchmorakot was able to significantly reduce his family’s struggles, so his hobby quickly turned into a full-time endeavor.

Over time, his twice-daily training schedule, compounded with his obligations at school, began to take a toll on the youngster and he watched his friends with envy as they lived carefree lives without the same rigid structure.

As his career started to take off, the pressure on him grew, and when he started traveling to Bangkok to compete, he had to go through grueling weight cuts to step into the ring.

“I was cutting a lot of weight, and was just tired from doing it – it was nearly every month,” he says.

Petchmorakot's ready to prove, once and for all, that he deserves the coveted spot in the semifinals of the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix!

Petchmorakot's ready to prove, once and for all, that he deserves the coveted spot in the semifinals of the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix!????: Kuala Lumpur | 12 July | 6PM | ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY????: Get your tickets at ???? http://bit.ly/onemastersofdestiny19????: Check local listings for global TV broadcast????: Watch on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp ????‍????: Prelims LIVE on Facebook | Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE on Twitter

Posted by ONE Championship on Sunday, June 30, 2019

As his seemly endless competition schedule pressed forward, Petchmorakot longed to be one of the guys and join in with his friends’ fun.

When he was about 16, temptation allowed him to get sidetracked.

“I started going out with my friends more and more. Eventually, I just left the gym and went home,” he says.

“We were drinking, staying out late at night, and just not thinking. I was just a kid at the time and didn’t know the meaning of responsibility. I just was tired of fighting, and I got discouraged.

“I was going out late nearly every night. My parents were really worried, and would always try to call me to come home.”

However, it did not take long for Petchmorakot to realize there was no future in going out with his friends all the time with no direction in his life.

He missed the training, comradery, and structure that Muay Thai provided in his life. He also knew he needed to pull his gloves on again to earn a living.

Multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion Petchmorakot heads to Kuala Lumpur on 12 July for the biggest bout of his career — a ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix REMATCH against Giorgio "The Doctor" Petrosyan!

Multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion Petchmorakot heads to Kuala Lumpur on 12 July for the biggest bout of his career — a ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix REMATCH against Giorgio "The Doctor" Petrosyan!????: Kuala Lumpur | 12 July | 6PM | ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY????: Get your tickets at ???? http://bit.ly/onemastersofdestiny19????: Check local listings for global TV broadcast????: Watch on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp ????‍????: Prelims LIVE on Facebook | Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE on Twitter

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, June 28, 2019

Determined to turn his life around, he returned to his gym and gave up on his vices.

“Over time, I got bored of it. I didn’t have any money either, and I wanted to return to fighting,” he admits.

“[My coaches] yelled at me. I knew what I had done was wrong, but after that, they sat me down to talk to me.

“The drinking changed my body, it was so bad for my health. It took two months of training until I felt normal again.”

It was not long after he returned to full-time training that he was scouted by the famous Petchyindee Academy in Bangkok, and his career kicked into high gear.

He won multiple Muay Thai World Championships, and ended up on the global stage of martial arts, where he competes against the planet’s best strikers.

Although he would not repeat his wayward years, the 25-year-old looks back on that time of his life as a learning experience that helped shape who he is today.

10 things you never knew about Muay Thai World Champion Petchmorakot!

10 things you never knew about Muay Thai World Champion Petchmorakot! ????: Kuala Lumpur | 12 July | 6PM | ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY????: Get your tickets at ???? http://bit.ly/onemastersofdestiny19????: Check local listings for global TV broadcast????: Watch on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp ????‍????: Prelims LIVE on Facebook | Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE on Twitter

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, June 28, 2019

“At the time, I was just a kid – I wanted to have fun. I was stubborn and difficult. I think a lot of fighters go through it,” he explains.

“It was something I had to experience. Now, my life is amazing, I couldn’t imagine not being a fighter.”

Kuala Lumpur | 12 July | 6PM | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onedestiny19