Dominant Petch is back in the Netherlands for his next world title

The Thai fighter has recently gone up a weight class and feels ready to become the world champion in two different weight classes at Glory
Written by Published on Mar 10, 2023, 6:15:48 AM
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What do you do when you’ve won all there is to win in your own weight class? In the case of Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao also known as "Petch", "the Diamond" or "the Professor", you simply go up one (class) and challenge the champion to his belt. Go big or go home never sounded so suitable. 

Petch is 2 days out from his title fight against Tyjani Beztati (taking place March 11th) and still recovering from a jet lag. He has just landed in Amsterdam and is about to dig into a surf and turf. It’s his first fight on Dutch soil after he successfully staved off Mexican Abraham Vidales last October at Glory Collision 4. He tells us he loves the Netherlands, gets recognised on the street here and there, and may even call it a home away from him. This is his sixth time in the country. But, make no mistake. As he gets closer to his fight, Petch will only trust what he really knows. He and his manager have a go-to Thai restaurant that they visit after every weigh-in and eat at. Nam pla (Thai fish sauce) keeps you lean and sharp.

PETCH - THE HOTTEST TICKET IN TOWN

You may have noticed whilst reading the conversations Warrior Code has had with the likes of Abraham Vidales, Kento Haraguchi and Taiju Shiratori in recent months that Petch is the man of the hour at the moment, he is the one everyone wants to beat. Looking at these results, he stands head and shoulders above his competition. He hasn’t lost in over 5 years and is the current flyweight title holder at both Glory (since 2019) and at RISE (victory over Haraguchi in 2021). He has successfully defended his Glory title 4 times already. 

Petch is grateful that so many fighters have him at the top of their list. “It creates healthy competition, helps the sport move forward and, on a personal note, ensures I get enough fights throughout the year.”

Petch with coach Adrian celebrating yet another win

 But what if you have beaten your all your immediate competition and are looking for a new challenge? You answer Glory’s phone call and accept the opportunity to go up a weight class and potentially become world champion in different weight categories.

Petch tells Warrior Code that he is incredibly excited about this new adventure and looks forward to squaring off against Beztati. “My first immediate goal is to get my hands on this belt, it really gets me going”. 

THE CHALLENGES GOING UP A WEIGHT CLASS

Despite being the reigning champion, Beztati’s physique makes him an interesting fighter for Petch. Fighters going up a weight class may struggle to put on weight and once they do, they need to make sure that they don’t lose their agility and speed. Beztati will weigh in at about 72/73 kgs’s, a relatively small fraction above Petch’s 71/72 kg. Should Petch win, the other fighters in this weight category may prove a trickier challenge given that most of them have had to cut weight rather than gain and should therefore not have become any less agile. However, that worry is for another day.

Does Petch feel any pressure now that he is fighting a champion in front of a home crowd? “Not any more than what I am used to. I have always been the fighter who travels the most and who is away from home most, too. Squaring off against the “home favourite” gives me extra motivation as I like to be the underdog.”

Petch before departure at Bangkok airport

So should Petch win on Saturday, what’s next? “First and foremost, I am keen to continue defending my titles in all weight classes where possible. I am still in the prime of my career and the fire is burning very strong. I look forward to defending my titles as many times as I can.”

But, defending titles is not all that is part of Petch’s plan. The man will be on his way to Vancouver (Canada) after Saturday to open a new Muay Thai gym on March 17th together with his manager and coach Adrian who has lived there for some time now. Why Vancouver? “The city has a big market for kickboxing and we’re keen to elevate it. I (Petch) have been in Thailand my whole life and I am keen on a change of scene and exploring this new chapter alongside my fighting career.

Petch will fight Tyjani Beztati for the world lightweight title at Glory 84 on Saturday, March 11.

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