Petchmorakot Petchyindee is back to defend his ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Title on Friday, 20 May.
The Thai superstar is looking to fend off the third challenger to his throne in the main event of ONE 157, though he’ll have his hands full against the experienced Jimmy Vienot – a highly decorated five-time World Champion in the sport.
It’s not often that Petchmorakot faces a taller opponent, which means he’ll need to adjust his game plan in this intriguing showdown with the debuting Frenchman.
Here are the biggest keys to victory for each man in this massive World Championship battle at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
#1 Petchmorakot’s Assertive Jab
The defending titleholder usually dictates the range with his long limbs, but it won’t be an easy task against “JV01,” who stands 4 centimeters taller. That means his jab will be crucial.
Petchmorakot is most devastating when he can work on the front foot behind long-range strikes and force his rivals backward to the Circle Wall or ropes. From there, he unleashes bout-ending weapons, including his potent knees and elbows.
Therefore, beating Vienot to the punch is crucial. Losing that battle would cut out many of the Thai’s favorite attacks, which means he must make it a priority.
The 28-year-old will need every inch of reach to find the mark against his challenger, although his recent foray into professional boxing should translate well into a sharper lead hand.
#2 Vienot’s Boxing Pressure
Vienot also knows the battle for forward momentum is one of the biggest factors in this contest, and his own boxing game will play a big role.
The Frenchman has crisp hands that are both powerful and accurate, but his ability to maintain a high volume will dictate whether he gets the prime positioning.
Former bantamweight kickboxing king Alaverdi Ramazanov’s high-intensity boxing style worked well against Petchmorakot, giving the Thai fewer chances to back him up with his jab. “JV01” could take a leaf out of that book with his hard lead hook and left cross.
Putting the defending World Champion on his heels would stifle his offense immensely and allow the challenger to rack up points and damage without as much threat coming his way.
#3 Petchmorakot’s Feared Knees And Elbows
If Petchmorakot can back up Vienot, that’s when you’ll really see him unleash the heavy artillery.
Most of his spectacular finishes come when his foe runs out of room on the back foot, offering them no retreat when the Thai lets rip with his knees and elbows.
The Petchyindee athlete loves to employ his knee-heavy style after getting his opponents to raise their hands and defend his punches. From there, he delivers thudding strikes to the midsection.
And if there’s no route to the body, he can just as easily step in to elbow – like he did against Liam Harrison – meaning his rival must try to guess which area of the body to block, creating uncertainty.
Petchmorakot only needs one clean knee or elbow to drop his opponent, and when they’re hurt, he’s a master at finishing them off.
#4 Vienot’s Kicks Controlling The Space
Keeping Petchmorakot at bay is clearly going to be high on the agenda for Vienot – both to create space to attack and to stay safe from the Thai’s most dangerous strikes.
For this purpose, the tall Frenchman can also use his long legs.
“JV01” has a strong teep (push kick) that can maintain distance and keep the Petchyindee star at a distance, enabling him to press forward as Petchmorakot reels away.
He also has strong low kicks that can halt the forward pressure and accrue damage in the process.
Kickboxing legend Giorgio Petrosyan employed these tactics effectively to counterattack Petchmorakot in their second meeting. Seeing that should give Vienot some extra confidence for his World Title challenge.