Features

The Men Who Helped Petchmorakot Achieve Greatness

Jul 22, 2020

ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Champion Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy is proud to be a titleholder in the world’s largest martial arts organization, and he hopes to cement that status by defeating a true icon of the sport.

The 26-year-old will defend his coveted gold against “The Boxing Computer” Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex in the co-main event of ONE: NO SURRENDER in Bangkok, Thailand, on 31 July.

A victory over Yodsanklai would help make Petchmorakot the next great Muay Thai legend. However, the Ubon Ratchathani native did not reach this point by himself – in fact, there were several people who played key roles in his development.  

Sia Boat

Petchmorakot and Sorgraw Petchyindee with Sia Boat

Ten years ago, Petchmorakot found himself in a bad place.

He was burnt out from competing in Muay Thai, so he regularly skipped training sessions to hang out with friends and indulge in the party lifestyle.

It appeared the teenager might be leaving martial arts behind, but after a while, he became bored with the late-night adventures and wanted to return to the sport he loved.

Before long, he was contacted by Rajadamnern Stadium promoter Mitr Nakorn, who gave him a lifeline.

“At the time, I had completely nothing – no money and no future,” Petchmorakot says. “I realized I had to do something, so I asked Mitr Nakorn to help me, and he was the one who took me to Petchyindee Academy.”

Petchmorakot training at Petchyindee Academy in Thailand

At Petchyindee, Petchmorakot met the man who would change the course of his career – Nuttadaj Vachirarattanawong, better known as Sia Boat, who runs the day-to-day operations at the world-famous Bangkok gym.

Sia Boat plays an active role in all of his athletes’ lives, but he also acts like “a friend, a brother, and sometimes, like a dad” to Petchmorakot.

“Sia Boat has taught me a lot,” the Muay Thai star says.

“He teaches all of us fighters that we must repay the kindness we’ve experienced, that we must hold people in high regard, and beware of who they are. Whether they are our elders or influential people in the community, we must show respect. If we don’t remember this, we won’t progress as people.

“He’s always there to remind us. He loves us like family, and raises us to be good people.”



Nong-O And Sam-A

World Champions Nong-O Gaiyanghadao and Sam-A Gaiyanghadao

When Petchmorakot first arrived at Petchyindee Academy, he was very alone – especially because his close friend Petchdam was back home training in the Ubon Ratchathani province.

However, things soon changed when Petchmorakot recognized a few old friends at the camp.

“Luckily, I already knew Nong-O [Gaiyanghadao] and Sam-A [Gaiyanghadao] before I came here, so I felt better,” he says.

Those two elder statesmen quickly began to mentor the young athlete and helped him become a dangerous threat in Bangkok’s stadium circuit.

Nong-O and Sam-A spent extra time with Petchmorakot inside the gym, often forcing their prodigy to train harder and continue practicing after the regular sessions had ended.

Simply put, the duo wanted to make him better.

“I was excited to have a chance to train and be guided by them. They taught me what was right and wrong. It was great,” Petchmorakot says.

“We trained on how to throw certain weapons and many other things together. They were always teaching me.”

Thailand's Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy kicks the pads

That guidance then continued in the locker room before Petchmorakot’s matches at Lumpinee Stadium.

“Nong-O and Sam-A were always talking to me about tactics,” he says. “Even on the actual bout day, they were there guiding me.”

Eventually, both of those athletes left Petchyindee for Evolve MMA in Singapore and won World Title belts in The Home Of Martial Arts.

However, their lessons always stuck with Petchmorakot, who became a multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion – including the reigning ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Champion.

Read more: How Nong-O Helped Petchmorakot Become One Of The Greats