Panpayak “The Angel Warrior” Jitmuangnon may be a five-time Muay Thai World Champion, but he showcased equally adept striking skills under kickboxing rules to claim victory on Friday, 6 September.
The Thai faced Masahide “Crazy Rabbit” Kudo in the opening contest of ONE: IMMORTAL TRIUMPH, and the two flyweight strikers entertained the masses inside the Phu Tho Indoor Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam with their contrasting styles.
Although Panpayak competed against Kudo in his opponent’s preferred sport, he picked his Japanese rival apart to claim a unanimous decision victory.
Thai phenom Panpayak ???????? uses all his tools to edge out Masahide Kudo for the unanimous decision victory!????: Check local listings for global broadcast details????: Watch on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp????: Shop Official Merchandise ???? http://bit.ly/ONECShop
Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, September 6, 2019
Competing in 4-ounce mixed martial arts gloves, Kudo looked to settle into his regular rhythm in the opening round.
However, he found Panpayak’s southpaw Muay Thai style tricky to handle and consistently absorbed kicks and counter strikes when attempting to close the distance.
The Japanese star, who is a RISE Featherweight Champion, continued to apply forward pressure in the second round, but once again, the 23-year-old Thai frustrated “Crazy Rabbit” with his slick techniques.
Panpayak found his timing and range with his right jab. He frequently landed the strike and systematically attacked the 28-year-old from Gunma, Japan.
In the third round, Kudo threw caution to the wind. He hurtled headlong at “The Angel Warrior” in a desperate attempt to take the Thai out of his comfort zone and connect with punishing strikes.
However, it seemed the more aggressive “Crazy Rabbit” got, the more composed and clinical Panpayak performed as he cruised his way through the final frame.
The bout went to the scorecards, and all three ringside judges awarded the unanimous decision to “The Angel Warrior,” who added a kickboxing victory to his 244 career Muay Thai wins.
In victory, Panpayak showed tremendous ability in kickboxing and could potentially challenge for a World Title in a second sport at some point in the future.