Superlek Nabs Razor-Close Win Over Rival Panpayak In Eighth Meeting
Top-ranked flyweight Muay Thai contender Superlek Kiatmoo9 came one win closer to evening the score with one of his biggest rivals on the main card of ONE 164: Pacio vs. Brooks on December 3 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
“The Kicking Machine” defeated #2-ranked flyweight Muay Thai contender Panpayak Jitmuangnon via split decision in their tightly contested catchweight Muay Thai bout, bringing the incredible series that Panpayak still leads to 4-3-1.
From the get-go, Superlek stayed true to form, using his right kicks to batter Panpayak’s arms and torso. After the first minute, though, the latter found his range and began to evade his adversary’s lower limbs.
Then, “The Angel Warrior” attacked with punches, tacking stiff right jabs onto Superlek’s chin. It even seemed for a moment that Superlek was stunned in one of the exchanges, as he clinched to avoid the seven-time Muay Thai World Champion’s accurate hands.
In round two, things changed slightly in Superlek’s favor.
Although he didn’t change tactics, his right kicks landed with more frequency and even more purpose. The damage was starting to show on Panpayak, while his lead thigh turned into the sort of purplish color found on the skin of a red onion.
Tentative to punch because he expected his opponent to counter with more low kicks, Panpayak played off the back foot in the final round.
And although Superlek scored occasionally with kicks and elbows, he stayed busy enough to keep the fight in his favor.
In the end, two of the three judges gave “The Kicking Machine” the nod, and the four-time Muay Thai World Champion improved his overall record to 121-39-4.
The victory also gave Superlek some much-needed momentum going into his ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Title challenge of defending king Ilias Ennahachi at ONE on Prime Video 6 in Bangkok, Thailand, on January 13.