Saemapetch Fairtex takes on Tawanchai PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym in a massive bantamweight Muay Thai battle at ONE: HEAVY HITTERS this Friday, 14 January – and both men have the potential to finish things inside the distance.
For #1-ranked Saemapetch, a clear victory might earn him a second crack at ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao. In the process, he’d gain some redemption after losing to Rittewada Petchyindee Academy last time out.
Tawanchai is coming off his own loss to current ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix semifinalist and #3-ranked Sitthichai “Killer Kid” Sitsongpeenong. A win would prove that his defeat at a heavier weight was just a fluke, and it could even lead to a date with Nong-O.
There is plenty at stake, and the outcome of this matchup will come down to which athlete can implement their key tactics. With that in mind, let’s break down what each striker must accomplish to get their hand raised at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
#1 Tawanchai: Keep Saemapetch Guessing
Tawanchai cannot let Saemapetch read his attacks. If he does, the Fairtex man will pick up on his every move and crack his jaw with those famed straight lefts from the southpaw stance.
So, the PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym representative has to attack from the outside and the inside, use his kicks from a distance, and utilize his elbows up close.
It’ll have to be a dirty fight – the kind of chaos Saemapetch prefers to avoid because he’s a thinking man. But if Tawanchai gives his opponent time to process what’s happening, he’ll find himself in big trouble.
#2 Saemapetch: Counter Kicks With Punching Combos
Saemapetch can turn the bout in his favor by unloading punches just as Tawanchai is either lifting his leg to throw his left kick or resetting his left foot on the canvas after executing the whipping attack.
By catching Tawanchai off-balance, the 27-year-old will have a better chance of scoring a knockdown.
And even if he lands but doesn’t drop his fellow Thai, it’ll make Tawanchai think twice about launching the same offense again.
#3 Tawanchai: Frustrate Saemapetch By Closing The Distance
It’s no secret that Saemapetch’s strength lies in his left hand, which has helped him secure more than 120 victories in Muay Thai.
If Tawanchai stays on the outside and uses his kicks, he’ll be an easier target for the #1 contender.
But the 22-year-old phenom knows this and will likely try to close the distance before attacking with elbows like Rittewada did. If Tawanchai can get into a shorter range, it will change the complexion of this matchup.
#4 Saemapetch: Capitalize On Tawanchai’s Breaks In Action
Saemapetch must take advantage of any lulls from Tawanchai, as the younger competitor often hangs back and waits for his opponent to move before attacking.
While Tawanchai is calculating his offense, Saemapetch needs to strike hard and strike fast, knocking the PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym fighter out of his mental flow.
If the veteran can do this, he’ll secure his #1 spot in the rankings and keep himself in the World Title conversation. If not, Tawanchai will join Rittewada as the most likely challenger for the bantamweight Muay Thai throne.