The two Muay Thai warriors will meet at ONE: HEAVY HITTERS this January 14th at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, and both men are ready to put it all on the line despite their cordial relationship.
“We can’t escape this fight. The path leads us to face each other,” Tawanchai said.
“I feel like it is just a sport. We fight each other in the ring and hug each other when the job is done. We are still bros.”
Saemapetch tends to agree with his counterpart.
“[Competing against each other was] inevitable,” he says. “We’ll do our best as fighters.”
Though they train at rival gyms -- Saemapetch at the famed Fairtex Training Center in Pattaya, and Tawanchai at Bangkok’s PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym -- they were drawn together by their shared passion for Muay Thai.
At 27 years of age, Saemapetch owns the experience advantage in this matchup, having already faced legendary Nong-O Gaiyanghadao previously. Saemapetch is also the #1-ranked bantamweight Muay Thai fighter in ONE Championship.
Meanwhile, the 22-year-old Tawanchai just recently made his ONE Super Series debut, with a win over Sean Clancy last May 2020.
Knowing Tawanchai is just beginning his ONE career, Saemapetch offered a few words of advice.
“Tawanchai had to fly to fight abroad for the first time. He was still unfamiliar with new places and new rules. Although he had a trainer with him, they had problems in communication,” Saemapetch says.
“Even though we are competitors in the same division, I don’t pay attention to that point at all. I’m happy to help him as I’m a senior. I feel that we all are Muay Thai fellows. We need to help each other.”
Tawanchai was, of course, thankful for his friend’s help.
“I was new to ONE and there were many things that I was not familiar with. So, I asked him for advice on weight, hydrations, and many preparations,” he says.
“Saemapetch was very kind to me and gave me all useful advice.”
Tawanchai eventually defeated Clancy behind a spectacular performance. Afterward, Tawanchai trained with Saemapetch in Pattaya.
“After we had finished fighting, we became closer and closer because I went to see him at the camp, too,” Tawanchai says.
When the two meet at ONE: HEAVY HITTERS, however, their fruitful partnership will be temporarily put on hold. Being that they are two of the best Muay Thai fighters on the planet, there’s definitely a lot at stake in this matchup.
“We talked about [fighting each other],” Tawanchai says.
“I said to him, ‘It’s okay, bro. If we have to face each other in the Circle, we will do our duty. Outside the ring, we are always brothers.”
“This is just a game. We each have a goal, and we have to go for it,” Saemapetch adds.
“Don’t worry – neither of us will hold off as long as we are in the Circle!”
Published : January 13, 2022
By : THE NATION