By The Nation
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Iran Diaz, as well as ONE Championship athletes Rika “Tinydoll” Ishige, Sagetdao “Deadly Star” Petpayathai and Petchmorrakot Wor. Sangprapai took part in the ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES Open Workout at Nakornloung Promotion Gym in Bangkok on Tuesday.
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai is one of the most celebrated pugilists in Thailand’s history, winning the prestigious WBC Super Flyweight World Title on two occasions. Holding a professional record of 46-4-1 with 41 knockouts, Sor Rungvisai is ranked No. 5 on the pound-for-pound best boxers list of Boxrec.com and No. 7 on The Ring Magazine’s rankings. After regaining the WBC Super Flyweight World Title in March 2017 and then successfully defending it two times, Sor Rungvisai will now defend his WBC World Title in ONE Championship's historical event in Thailand, ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES.
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, WBC Super Flyweight World Champion, stated:
“Thank you all for coming out here today. I am truly grateful for all the support you have shown throughout my career. To be able to represent my country in this sport is a privilege and I will do everything in my power to make my people, my fans proud. Iran Diaz is a worthy opponent. He is strong and determined. But I am confident in my skills and I will bring victory back home. Defending my title in front of my home crowd is very important to me, and I thank ONE Championship for giving me the opportunity. I am proud to showcase the Thai warrior spirit and prove to the world that we are among the very best.”
“Performing in Bangkok in front of all the Thai fans, I feel invigorated. This is a huge development in my career and I feel that ONE Championship can help me bring world-class boxing back home to Thailand. I am honored to be in this position and I know millions of fans will be watching, which is why I have to give my best performance. Right now I am in the best condition of my career and I am deep in training so that I can give a good performance on October 6. This is going to be a very exciting fight. See you all at the Impact Arena. I can’t wait to climb into the ring again and showcase my talent in front of the whole world.”
Iran “MagnifiKO” Diaz of Sonora, Mexico is one of the fastest rising talents in Mexican boxing. Born and raised in a country known for its passionate love for pugilism, Diaz holds a professional record of 14-2-3, with 6 knockouts to his name. His most notable victories have come over dangerous former World Champions Hernan “Tyson” Marquez and Luis Concepcion. Recently, Diaz is a winner of three of his last five contests, and is riding a wave of momentum heading into his next bout. The hard-hitting Diaz will face Srisaket Sor Rungvisai for the WBC Super Flyweight World Title at ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES.
Iran Diaz, World Title Challenger, stated:
“This opportunity is a big one for me in my career. I am facing one of the toughest boxers in the world now, pound-for-pound. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai is aggressive and strong, but so am I. Mexican boxers are the best in the sport. It’s in our blood and I am proud to represent my country here on the global stage. This is without a doubt the biggest fight in my time as a professional. I have a great team behind me helping me prepare for this. I am coming into the ring in the best shape of my life and I can’t wait to score this huge victory.”
“I believe I have enough experience and technical knowledge to deal with his particular style. I have faced very strong opponents in the past and I know how to deal with adversity. I am no stranger being the underdog. But everytime I fight, I win over new fans and I prove that I can hang with the best. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai is one of the biggest stars in boxing today, and if I can beat him, it will be great for my career. Right now, I’ll return home to continue sharpening my skills for the big fight. I’m working very hard with my team to score this huge upset. I am ready to shock the world on October 6.”
Rika “Tinydoll” Ishige is a 29-year-old female atomweight from Thailand who trains out of Tiger Muay Thai and Bangkok Fight Lab. She is of mixed Japanese and Thai heritage, beginning her martial arts training at age 9 with aikido and taekwondo. Heavily influenced by her late father who trained in judo, Ishige went on to hone her skills as a martial artist, and turned professional earlier this year. All of Ishige’s victories have ended via impressive finish, showcasing her high-level grappling skills. She is currently one of the most popular martial artists in Thailand and in Asia.
Rika Ishige, ONE Athlete, stated:
“Thank you everyone for coming here today. It is truly an honor for me. Being able to perform at home here in Bangkok, I have been extremely fortunate. Right now, martial arts is at a peak high in Thailand, and it’s all thanks to the amazing work we have put in over the past few years. ONE Championship has really focused on highlighting the beauty of Thai martial arts. It is my honor to help represent the women in this sport. I know I have a lot to work on with my skills, but I am hitting the gym hard everyday and I feel I have improved greatly as a martial artist. I can’t wait to show everyone what I have been doing.”
Sagetdao “Deadly Star” Petpayathai is 31-year-old a Muay Thai specialist and a four-time Lumpinee Stadium champion who has won every major title in Muay Thai. Voted by Thai media as one of the greatest Muay Thai practitioners in history, Sagetdao is known for his highly technical knowledge in all of Muay Thai’s varied techniques. Concluding his Muay Thai career with a record of 162-62-1, Sagetdao transitioned to mixed martial arts in 2017, acing his first three bouts with flying colors.
Sagetdao Petpayathai, ONE Athlete, stated:
“This is a great opportunity for me to redeem myself. My last performance, I wasn’t at my best and I feel I wasn’t able to showcase what I can really do in there. Now, the focus has been on sharpening my talent and making sure I learn from my mistakes in my last bout. ONE Championship is rich with talent and there are a lot of tough opponents to face in my division. I know I have to be in the best shape of my life each time out. To be able to showcase the beauty of my discipline, and combine it with the new skills I have learned in the cage, it’s a rebirth for me as a fighter. In my next bout, I hope to show everyone that I will just keep getting better with experience. My goal here is to become one of the very best. Thank you all for the support.”
Hailing from Ubon Ratchathani in Thailand’s northern Isan region, Petchmorrakot Wor. Sangprapai has already defeated some of the biggest names in Muay Thai, earning multiple accolades in the process. Spurred by his success and proven talent, Petchmorrakot went on to claim the prestigious Lumpinee Stadium World Championship in two divisions, as well as the WMC Muay Thai title, in a career spanning almost 200 professional bouts.
Petchmorrakot Wor. Sangprapai, ONE Athlete, stated:
“For the first time in history, the best of the best from different combat sports will join together on 6 October. I am excited for this, especially for Muay Thai. I am ready to take this next step into my career. This is a chance for me to showcase my skills to the world and to show fans the beauty of Muay Thai. You can say that I’ve done it all in the sport, but it’s not yet over for me. I am still grinding everyday. ONE Super Series is the right path for me and my professional career. The desire to compete, it’s still in me. I am glad that I was able to make a ONE Super Series debut earlier this year because it has already given me the feel of what the future holds. It’s a great opportunity for every practitioner of Muay Thai.”