The long-awaited main event showdown between Rittewada Petchyindee Academy and Saemapetch Fairtex may have determined who will challenge ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao next. And it looks like the debuting superstar got his wish.
Rittewada earned a second-round TKO victory over the #1-ranked bantamweight contender at ONE: NEXTGEN II in Singapore on Friday, 12 November, but only after his Thai compatriot dished out some phenomenal striking.
The first minute of the bout was a cautious one, as both Thais teased each other with feints and kicks. Then, Rittewada exploded into a jab-straight left combination that the Fairtex representative evaded by the skin of his teeth.
Rittewada used his reach to keep his opponent on the outside. And, just as Saemapetch went for a right hook-straight left, the Petchyindee Academy standout spun into an elbow that grazed his rival’s ear.
The Bangkok resident followed this by throwing a teep, which Saemapetch countered with a straight left-right hook combo that elevated Rittewada and then dropped him for an eight count.
Once the Petchyindee Academy star returned to his feet, he trailed his rival and countered the Fairtex athlete’s straight left to the body with an elbow that perfectly exhibited his fighting IQ.
In round two, both men opened with high kicks, but Saemapetch kept warning his compatriot that his straight left was still there.
Again, Saemapetch caught a teep from his foe, but this time, he went to the body with the straight left. Rittewada curled to absorb the blow, but when he did, he opened himself for a right hook that sent him stumbling backward.
Eventually, two more straight lefts from the Pattaya resident came over Rittewada’s guard and found their mark. The Petchyindee Academy fighter then walked into a few more powerful punching combinations to add to the accumulating damage.
Saemapetch’s confidence was growing, but just as he went for another straight left, Rittewada timed a left elbow perfectly.
The graceful technique damaged Saemapetch, and the Circle-side doctor was forced to stop the fight at the 2:10 mark of round two.
Both men smiled at the call. Saemapetch, because he was undoubtedly winning the exchange up until that point. And Rittewada, because he had just defeated the top-ranked bantamweight contender, moved his record to 91-25-5, and may have secured the next crack at Nong-O.