Four-time Muay Thai World Champion Pongsiri PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym entered the ONE Super Series Muay Thai bantamweight division with a bang.
The 29-year-old scored a hard-earned unanimous decision victory over WBC Muay Thai World Champion Sean “Clubber” Clancy in their main event clash at ONE: A NEW BREED II, the previously recorded event from Bangkok, Thailand, that aired on Friday, 11 September.
In the opening seconds, it appeared as though the pair of World Champions had secretly agreed to contest each other under boxing rules.
Both Pongsiri and Clancy let leather fly, with “Clubber” launching left hooks and uppercuts while the PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym representative peppered his rival with hooks and jabs.
After a fiery start, both men settled into their respective strategies and began mixing up their attacks. Pongsiri added low kicks and elbows to accompany his boxing pedigree, and the Irishman followed suit.
But it was a stinging left hook from the Thai that wobbled “Clubber,” who showed signs of damage after taking a torrid of punches on the ropes.
Still, the Irish striker displayed tremendous heart to open the second canto.
The 31-year-old kept his fists in the face of Pongsiri and tore into his opponent’s thigh with low kicks. It seemed the Irishman had found some luck, but a left hook and right elbow from Pongsiri sent “Clubber” falling into the corner of the ring for the first official knockdown of the bout.
Clancy said in a pre-bout interview that he didn’t fear Pongsiri, and after answering the referee’s eight-count, he lived up to those words.
A one-two from “Clubber” hinged the head of Pongsiri before the Irishman pelted his foe with an uppercut. The PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym standout tried to defend and counter, but for the first time in the match, he was missing his mark.
In the final minute of the round, however, Pongsiri landed another damaging elbow, and the two men then engaged in a closely contested elbow war.
At the start of the third round, Clancy threw heat at the man from Nakhon Ratchasima. His punches broke through Pongsiri’s guard and he found a home for a pair of uppercuts.
The Thai was finally showing signs of wear – which meant he was forced to dig deep.
That he did. Pongsiri rallied back in the final minute, as he cast punches at “Clubber” and caused the referee to halt the action while a ringside doctor inspected Clancy’s face.
With the doctor’s nod, the fight resumed. The Irishman tried to press forward for one last rally, but a right high kick from Pongsiri knocked him off-balance and capped off an incredible World Champion versus World Champion main event.
All three judges gave the bout to Pongsiri, who improved his astonishing record to 154-33-11, notched his first win in ONE, and sent a clear message to the rest of the Muay Thai bantamweight division after a successful move down from featherweight.