Tawanchai Says Familiar Atmosphere At Lumpinee Stadium Drove Him To First World Title Defense
Tawanchai PK Saenchai delivered a dominant first-round victory when he returned to his old stomping ground at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium on Friday, February 24.
The ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Champion stopped #2-ranked contender Jamal “Yeniceri” Yusupov with low kicks in the opening round of their ONE Fight Night 7: Lineker vs. Andrade II on Prime Video co-main event tilt, thrilling the partisan crowd in Bangkok, Thailand.
Tawanchai – the 2018 Lumpinee Boxing Stadium Fighter of the Year – felt inspired by this return to the iconic venue and was pleased to notch another victory in front of his compatriots.
“I am very happy that I could defend my belt and I’m very thankful for all the support.
“The atomsphere definitely made me think of the old atmosphere that I had when I fought in the stadium before. It was a really big motivation for me and encouraged me to keep winning.”
Tawanchai needed just 49 seconds to dispatch Yusupov in his first World Title defense, and although he was prepared to go the distance, the PK Saenchai athlete knew the low kicks were a winning formula early on.
When the Pattaya native noticed that “Yeniceri” failed to check his first few attempts, he slammed another powerful left shin into his foe’s thigh, sending Yusupov limping to the ropes – and ultimately out of the match.
Looking back on the method of victory, Tawanchai said:
“I feel like all of my kicks were strong. Maybe the timing was right, that’s why the left kick landed at the right time.
“I tried kicking him a few times, and he wasn’t really blocking it. So [for the final shot], I tried to kick him hard. I knew that the timing was right. That’s when I knew that the fight would end.”
Tawanchai PK Saenchai Reveals Who’s Next On His Radar
At just 23 years old, Tawanchai PK Saenchai plans on ruling ONE’s featherweight Muay Thai division for a long time, and he’s willing to defend his gold against all comers.
However, there is only one blip on his slate in The Home of Martial Arts, and he wants redemption. Tawanchai lost a split decision at the hands of fellow Thai icon Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong in 2021, and despite the pair being friends, he’d be willing to face “Killer Kid” to try to earn a win back.
“I have a lot of respect for Sitthichai, and we talk daily, but if ONE Championship wants us to fight, that’s okay. I am ready.”
There are no shortage of world-class contenders to challenge Tawanchai for his ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Title, but he also has his eyes on a different prize. The slick southpaw would love to try his hand at kickboxing.
If he can successfully cater his skill set to the new format, he’d love to earn a shot at ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Champion Chingiz Allazov in the future to prove he is the best striker across both sports.
“I am interested in that fight with Chingiz Allazov. Chingiz is a top fighter, so I will probably try a few matches in kickboxing first, and afterward, I can meet with Chingiz.”