ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Champion Tawanchai PK Saenchai will defend his gold for the first time when ONE Championship rolls into Lumpinee Stadium for ONE Fight Night 7 on Prime Video this Friday, Feb. 24.
And his first challenger to the coveted crown is far from a pushover.
The 23-year-old striking phenom will put his belt on the line against Jamal Yusupov, who has been on a hot streak since arriving onto ONE’s global stage. But taking the mantle of the best featherweight in the world is keeping Tawanchai motivated ahead of his first title defense.
“What keeps me motivated is how I am different. How I am meant to defend my title. And I also don’t want to let my fans down. So I want to do my best,” Tawanchai told ONE.
If there is anything that Tawanchai can expect from Yusupov, it is that the Turkish-Russian powerhouse will be throwing haymakers.
He has heavy hands and has already made it clear that he thinks his boxing can win him the gold with an early knockout.
Tawanchai is aware of the danger, but he trusts his training has prepared him well enough.
“I wouldn’t say that I am under a lot of pressure. But I will never underestimate my opponent and have prepared myself well. So I would like to succeed in defending my title this time,” he said.
“I have faced a lot of heavy hitters in my life, and also, during the training, I have trained with heavy hitters. There’s nothing to worry about. I am part of that. Also, regarding the differences between the ring and the cage, I don’t think there is much difference. I don’t worry about it. I’m not worried about it.”
When asked about how this camp has been different, Tawanchai remarked on the inclusion of more sport science. He has put the work in the gym, and with his diet so that he can be the ultimate athlete on event day.
Feeling that he is in peak condition, the 128-31-2 striker is also saying that he has an “ultimate weapon” ready for Yusupov. If true, fans could be in for a special treat when the bell rings for the co-main event at ONE Fight Night 7.
“I feel like, right now, I am more physically fit. I am stronger; my strength has increased. And also, for the second question, the training period for this fight is much longer. And I did a lot of training. My physique is much fitter than the last fight,” Tawanchai said.
“I’m not sure about the knockout because Jamal is a very strong fighter. Also, the ultimate weapon, I would rather not say. I would want you guys to watch me in the fight.”
ONE Fight Night 7: Lineker vs. Andrade II airs live at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, Feb. 24 on Prime Video. The event is included free of charge to all U.S. and Canadian Amazon Prime subscribers.