‘Finally, It’s My Time To Shine’ – Petchtanong Eager To Capitalize On World Title Shot At Akimoto
Petchtanong Petchfergus wants to crown his incredible combat sports career with the biggest accolade of all on Saturday, November 19.
The Thai striker will challenge Hiroki Akimoto for the ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Title in the main event of ONE 163, and at 37 years old, the longtime star knows this might be his last chance to claim the top prize.
More motivated than ever, Petchtanong feels ready to achieve the goal he’s been working toward since he inked a deal to compete in the world’s largest martial arts organization.
And even after putting together an incredible 357-56-1 professional record in kickboxing and Muay Thai, the Thai striker couldn’t wait for this moment to arrive.
“When I heard this news [of challenging Akimoto], I was very happy. Everyone knows that this was my goal from the first day I joined ONE. Like all fighters, I always dreamed of being the ONE World Champion.
“I might have started in ONE with a struggle at first. But I’ve been trying to climb up to the top five rankings. It took two years – which is longer than I thought, longer than my fellow fighters – but finally, it’s my time to shine.”
Although he feels as strong as ever, Petchtanong knows that time is not on his side.
He’s been in the game for 20 years, and he might not be able to climb the ranks once again if he falls short against Akimoto on Saturday.
With this in mind, the Udon Thani native has an extra sense of urgency to topple the bantamweight kickboxing king when they come to blows inside the Circle.
“I would also like to make the most of this opportunity. This might be my last title shot before I decide to retire. I’m 37 years old now. I started this career because of passion, not money.
“I actually planned to retire for a while, but when I lost to Capitan, I became more motivated and wanted to get redemption. I was determined to come back stronger. I want to prove to everyone that I still have great potential even when I’m 37 already.
“Like I said, I fight because of passion to show my skill and ability. And now I feel like I’m even stronger than a 20-year-old young fighter right now.”
Petchtanong Training With Superbon Ahead Of World Title Fight
Hiroki Akimoto will be a tough nut to crack for Petchtanong Petchfergus, but the Thai challenger is preparing for battle alongside one of the best in the business.
Petchtanong has been honing his skills in Krabi, Thailand, with his longtime training partner and reigning ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Champion Superbon Singha Mawynn – and he’s feeling much more confident due to those sessions.
The veteran said:
“I came to train in Krabi province to find different sparring partners. There, I have Superbon as my sparring partner. He helps me a lot with techniques and game plan.
“He gives me advice, reviews my form, and corrects my mistakes. If I practice alone, I won’t see my flaws. He also watched Akimoto’s match and analyzed my opponent for me as well.”
Petchtanong knows he’ll have to overcome a lot to be successful in his World Title challenge against Akimoto, but he’s unfazed by the difficult task ahead.
Combining his skills and vast experience with the valuable training camp alongside Superbon, the Muay Thai specialist thinks his technical ability will help him gain a monumental victory over his physically imposing 30-year-old rival.
“Akimoto’s strength is his stamina. He’s a very strong athlete. His punches and kicks are heavy, and he has good cardio to fight throughout five rounds. He also understands the rules of kickboxing very well, but I am confident that his skills and techniques are not as good as mine.
“Another thing is that my build is close to his. I can take his shots. Some people may be worried that I couldn’t handle Hiroki’s powerful strikes like Capitan. But I would say to those people, don’t worry about me in this matter. I’m as big as Superbon, I can definitely handle his attack power.”