Tawanchai PK.Saenchai took his athletic career to new heights after winning the ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Championship on Thursday, 29 September.
Despite his impressive resume, the win at the Singapore Indoor Stadium was Tawanchai’s first World Title victory, and he couldn’t be any more thrilled with the outcome.
“I was excited and happy when [the fight] came to the end of the fifth round. I knew my dream would come true soon and the belt was mine.
“When I took the belt on my shoulder, I felt like I was in a dream. I didn’t dare to think that an ordinary fighter like me would become the World Champion. I can’t describe my happiness right now.”
The fight was razor thin after 15 minutes, but Tawanchai thinks that his strategy and conditioning served him well during the match.
In fact, he wanted to prove he could go shot-for-shot with Petchmorakot, while also wearing down his 28-year-old foe so he could come on strong in the later stages – and that’s what he did.
“My game plan was to fight toe-to-toe. Because that was the World Title match, I wanted to give my all. I wanted to show him that I am as good as him. So, I changed my style from passive to aggressive.
“In rounds one and two, I still played along with him because I knew that he would go all-out in rounds three or four, so I had to prepare for this. It was a war. And it was very close. But thanks to my youth and freshness, it gave me a slight advantage over him in terms of energy.
“He was obviously out of gas. I was exhausted too, but I gritted my teeth and continued to fight. It was a battle between grit and gut.”
Tawanchai Excited To Defend Belt Against Elite Featherweights
Now that the ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Title is around his waist, Tawanchai PK.Saenchai has no shortage of potential contenders gunning for his crown.
However, given Petchmorakot’s previous dominance in the division and the close nature of their battle in Singapore, the PK.Saenchai athlete would be happy to run it back against the former king to settle any doubts.
“It’s okay that someone who supports Petchmorakot may be upset with the result. This match was really close. I totally understand how they feel. But we should respect the judges’ decision.
“I’m ready for the rematch because I enjoyed the last fight. And there are controversies, so I’d gladly accept the rematch.”
Still, in such a stacked division, Tawanchai must keep his eyes on the rest of the field too, including the likes of #3-ranked Jamal Yusupov and ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Champion Superbon Singha Mawynn.
The Bangkok resident wouldn’t turn down any opponent, and he’s ready to take on whoever ONE Championship’s matchmakers put in front of him.
“I have watched many of [Yusupov’s] fights. His punch is good. Our matchup would be exciting. If he can manage to land a clean punch on me, I may get [knocked] out. But if he doesn’t, he would be the one who [goes to] sleep.
“I admit that [Superbon] is number one in the world right now. But if ONE offers me the World Title match with him [in Muay Thai], I won’t run away from him. It would be a great honor to fight one the world’s best fighters like him. I think I could handle him.
“[Now that I am] the king of the division, there is no way I would turn any offer down. I’m ready for anyone.”