Panpayak Jitmuangnon Wins ONE’s 2022 Muay Thai Knockout Of The Year
Muay Thai in 4-ounce gloves is bound to provide incredible knockouts, and in 2022 ONE Championship fans saw plenty of athletes succumb to the power packed inside those tiny mitts.
The past 12 months produced a swathe of highlight-reel finishes, but the most devastating of all was Panpayak Jitmuangnon‘s head kick knockout of Cypriot star Savvas Michael at ONE on Prime Video 1 in Singapore on August 26.
The finish earned “The Angel Warrior” the ONE 2022 Muay Thai Knockout of the Year award. However, Panpayak’s winning moment almost never happened.
The Thai superstar was called to face Michael in the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Grand Prix semifinals as a late replacement for Rodtang Jitmuangnon.
Coincidentally, it was the second time Panpayak had stepped in for Rodtang. The #2-ranked Muay Thai flyweight also covered for his former training partner at ONE: NEXTGEN III in November 2021, defeating debutant Daniel Puertas in a kickboxing bout.
At ONE on Prime Video 1, however, Panpayak was a man on a mission.
The 26-year-old is a renowned technician, and while he usually takes his time in the early stages of his matchups, Panpayak brought the fight to Michael from the opening bell.
The former Lumpinee Stadium World Champion took center Circle and walked his foe down, landing crisp punches and stinging kicks as Michael searched for a way into the fight.
When the Cypriot did advance, however, he was met with a teep as Panpayak expertly controlled the range of the fight. It was a dominant first round for the Thai, but his best was yet to come.
In the second stanza, Panpayak froze Michael with a hard right hook before sending him down to the canvas with a devastating left high kick.
The referee saw no reason to administer a count and waved the fight off just 10 seconds into the frame.
The knockout was Panpayak’s first since joining the ONE roster in 2018, and it improved his record to an incredible 248-41-3.
Panpayak’s blistering finish also earned him a US$50,000 performance bonus courtesy of ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong and a place in the Grand Prix final against rival Superlek.