Tawanchai ‘Hungry’ To Retain World Title Against Yusupov In Lumpinee Stadium Homecoming

Tawanchai PK.Saenchai prepares to kick Petchmorakot Petchyindee at ONE 161

ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Champion Tawanchai PK.Saenchai is hoping for a triumphant return to Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Thailand on Friday, February 24.

That evening in U.S. primetime, the Thai superstar will defend his gold for the first time against surging challenger Jamal Yusupov in the co-main event of ONE Fight Night 7 on Prime Video.

A former Lumpine Stadium Fighter of the Year, Tawanchai has plenty of fond memories of competing – and nearly always winning – at Bangkok’s iconic combat sports venue.

Now five months after he dethroned Petchmorakot Petchyindee to claim World Championship gold, he’s looking forward to fighting in front of a raucous Thai crowd in the same place where he emerged as the most promising young talent of his generation.

Tawanchai told ONEFC.com:

“It’s very encouraging for me to fight where I spent a lot of time in, where all the fans can come to support me. I’ll put all my effort into this fight. I don’t want my fans to be disappointed in me.”

But while Tawanchai is feeling some pressure to meet the lofty expectations of his Thai fans, he’s not experiencing any nerves when it comes to his matchup with Yusupov.

Instead, Tawanchai views his return to Lumpinee Boxing Stadium as a homecoming of sorts – and an opportunity to launch his career to even greater heights.

He said:

“It’s the nostalgic feeling. Lumpinee is the most respected stadium, which has accommodated the best Muay Thai fighters. There are so many that become well-known after fighting in this stadium.”

Tawanchai Believes ‘Inner Fire’ Is Key To Victory Against Yusupov

While he’s tremendously excited about this upcoming battle at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, Tawanchai PK.Saenchai also knows he’ll be facing a supremely dangerous knockout artist in Jamal Yusupov.

At 39 years old, Yusupov is a true veteran of the sport with many years of ring time behind him.

But despite their significant age difference, Tawanchai is confident he holds the advantage in terms of time spent against elite-level opponents.

He said:

“Of course he has extensive fighting experiences, but they’re not superior to mine.”

Indeed, the 23-year-old superstar already owns 128 career victories, four of which have come against the world’s best strikers inside the Circle. By comparison, Yusupov is 3-0 in ONE and sports a 54-9 professional record.

The challenger, though, has been dominant in each of his promotional appearances, displaying a thunderously powerful left hand that’s sent a message to the rest of the featherweight Muay Thai division.

An explosive striker in his own right with three sensational knockouts in ONE, Tawanchai is quick to give his Turkish-Russian foe some respect:

“[Yusupov’s] strength is heavy, strong punches. He hardly has any weaknesses. He’s one of the strongest fighters. You can’t underestimate him in any way.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/Cn3vbSnJ9nu/

Clearly, Yusupov is not an opponent to be taken lightly.

However, after his five-round, World Title-winning war with Petchmorakot, the reigning king trusts in his proven durability and endless will to win.

Tawanchai added:

“The key in this fight is my inner fire. I’m hungry for the victory. I’ll never give up on anything easily.”

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