The year 2019 will be remembered for some sensational debuts in the ONE Super Series flyweight division – perhaps none more so than Savvas “The Baby Face Killer” Michael’s.
Muay Thai phenom Savvas Michael-ไมเคิล เพชรยินดี อคาเดมี่ outduels Singtongnoi in his ONE Super Series debut to claim an impressive unanimous decision victory!Watch the full event on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast
Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, 10 May 2019
The Petchyindee Academy representative took on the legendary striker in a Muay Thai battle in his adopted hometown of Bangkok, Thailand, and picked him apart over three rounds to earn a unanimous decision.
Michael’s opponent – a Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai World Champion – was a tough nut to crack and never backed down, but excellent boxing and an unrelenting work-rate took him to victory.
“Singtongnoi was a very good fighter in the [Bangkok] stadiums, but I knew that I was a lot younger, I could keep the pressure on him, and beat him that way,” explains the 20-year-old.
“He has around 350 fights, and he has dropped big names in Muay Thai with just an elbow, so I knew I had to be clever and careful.
“I was a little bit worried about the small gloves too, at first. It was my first time wearing them, but it was exciting, and after the first round, I felt really good and enjoyed it.”
The pair put on an exciting spectacle inside the Impact Arena, and “The Baby Face Killer” raced ahead in the first two rounds with hard body punching and an array of knees, elbows, and sweeps.
Just when it seemed like the win was a formality for the young man from Cyprus, however, Singtongnoi came roaring back in the final round when he knew he had to score a stoppage to claim victory.
“I was very surprised when he came back at me so hard in round three, but it really made me respect him,” says Michael.
“He came out with big power shots and was still strong, so I thought it was better that I got the win comfortably rather than risk it, so I was a bit more careful.”
Though many may have expected Singtongnoi to get the job done in his homeland after an iconic career and two impressive performances on the global stage for martial arts, by the time the final bell rang, there was no doubt that the new kid on the block would get the nod from the judges.
“The Baby Face Killer” was thrilled to get off the mark, but he believes it is only the start of his success in The Home Of Martial Arts, and he is keen to prove it.
“I waited for a long time to get into ONE Championship, and it felt great, so now I would like a quick turnaround,” the WMC Muay Thai World Champion says.
“The flyweight division is really exciting and competitive – I could give a good fight against any of the top fighters in the division, and an exciting one too.
“Whoever they give me, I’m going to fight. If I go well, I hope I can get a World Title shot soon.”
Michael trains in the same elite stable as newly-crowned ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion Petchdam “The Baby Shark” Petchyindee Academy, and he believes the Bangkok gym can now dominate the ONE Super Series kickboxing and Muay Thai divisions.
He does not want to compete against his good friend and teammate, but he believes they could each hold a belt – “The Baby Shark” in kickboxing, and “The Baby Face Killer” in “the art of eight limbs.”
“I am really good friends with Petchdam, and we are good sparring partners – he helps me prepare for the Thai style with strong kickers as there a lot of them in my division, and I help him with the ‘foreigner’ style,” he explains.
“Because we have a really good friendship, if I do well in Muay Thai, he has the kickboxing World Title already, so I don’t think he would mind [if I compete for that].
“The World Champion, Jonathan Haggerty, and me would be a really exciting fight, but I would like to face anyone at my weight – the top three guys, especially.”