Mongkolpetch Petchyindee is one victory away from a potential shot at ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon, but he’ll need to get past #2-ranked contender Jonathan “The General” Haggerty.
This Friday, the 26-year-old Thai will face the division’s former king at ONE: BAD BLOOD, knowing that a strong performance at the Singapore Indoor Stadium would make a powerful statement.
Mongkolpetch, now the division’s #4-ranked contender, most recently scored a decision over #5-ranked Elias “The Sniper” Mahmoudi at ONE: FULL BLAST II. It was his fourth straight win in the promotion, and it put him on the radar for a World Title shot.
Moreover, the funds earned from that fight helped Mongkolpetch build a new house and a grocery store in his home province of Roi Et, Thailand. It’s the same location where he plans to build a Muay Thai gym for members of his community to train for free.
But despite the life-altering victory, some fans criticized the Petchyindee Academy standout for putting on a lackluster performance against Mahmoudi.
And while Mongolpetch might not agree with the critics, he wasn’t satisfied with the outcome either.
“I have to admit that my last fight was not as entertaining as others,” he says.
“People said that it was because I didn’t trade weapons with my opponent. I would say that there were different factors, like exhaustion. I just found a way to survive and last the [entire] fight. But this upcoming fight will definitely be more fun.”
To improve his conditioning, Mongkolpetch has been focused on building his strength and power under the tutelage of his head coach at Petchyindee, Boon Berk Fah.
The 2017 Channel 7 Boxing Stadium Fight of the Year recipient is hoping those changes to his routine will help him regain the exciting form he’s known for. In fact, he has no doubt that viewers will witness an action-packed showdown on Friday.
“This time,” Mongkolpech says, “I am confident that my consistent and intensive physical training will fuel my gas tank.”
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The Thai will have to shift his engine into fifth gear against Haggerty, who’s on a mission to reclaim the World Title he lost to Rodtang in 2019.
In his last ONE Super Series outing, the Englishman defeated #4-ranked flyweight kickboxer Taiki “Silent Sniper” Naito. It was a trademark performance from “The General,” who unsettled the Japanese athlete with his favorite weapons – drawing the attention of his upcoming foe.
“[His advantages are] his teep (push kick) and left kicks, as well as his speed. I have to stop his speed. For his weakness, I see that his stomach is fragile. And he is also afraid of elbows,” Mongkolpetch says.
“My most dangerous weapons are my punches and kicks. I will attack his weak torso. I’m probably not as fast as him, but I will try to stop his speed and press forward to make him exhausted.”
In recent days, Haggerty went on record to say that Mongkolpetch would be an “easy opponent” and that he expects a first-round knockout.
Those confident words caught the Thai off-guard, but he quickly fired back with his own intentions.
“He said I am an easy opponent? True or false, I want him to find out the answer in the Circle,” the Petchyindee athlete says. “I have already got a surprise present for him.”
Although the seasoned striker won’t reveal any of that surprise in advance, he believes his performance will speak for itself.
After all, he’s reached the top of the Muay Thai world in his home country – and he’s hoping that experience will push him to the top of the sport on the global stage.
“I used to be the [Lumpinee Stadium World] Champion in Thailand. I will definitely win,” Mongkolpetch adds.
“I am confident that I will win this fight because I have been well-prepared and have undergone intensive training. I am in my best physical condition right now. To Haggerty, don’t underestimate me.”