French fighter Vienot gives Petchmorakot a hard time
published : 25 May 2022 at 04:00
newspaper section: Sports
Singapore: Petchmorakot Petchyindee faced the most difficult challenge of his One career thus far when he battled Jimmy Vienot at One 157 on Friday.
The two athletes put on a show in a back-and-forth battle for Petchmorakot's One featherweight Muay Thai world championship.
The Thai fighter struggled in the opening rounds against the ferocious Frenchman, as "JV01" landed head kicks without warning.
Petchmorakot had difficulty grasping Vienot's rhythm and wasn't able to find his footing until the later rounds.
"The size advantage was really a big factor. It's really hard to find someone that big with a strong strike. So, the main difference is that foreign fighters deal more punches. And it's very hard to expect strikes with the same pattern as fighting a Thai fighter. So, it's harder to defend a strike from a foreign fighter," Petchmorakot said.
Vienot caused another problem to the Thai star by catching his kicks and dumping the world champion to the canvas. But the more Vienot did this, the more he seemed to get tired.
The Thai, on the other hand, seemed to get energised as the bout went on. That became apparent when Petchmorakot landed a heavy right hook that sent Vienot slumping to the canvas in the fourth round.
The French star answered the eight-count, but his desperation from there was evident as he hurriedly threw strikes to try and gain the upper hand.
"[I was] a little bit surprised. I saw, at that moment, I hit the punch. I didn't think that [he] would be knocked down as well, so I was surprised. He's a very tough opponent. And he's big, and it's very hard [to fight him]," Petchmorakot said of his tide-turning strike.
Petchmorakot stayed in control of the action until the final bell, landing combinations right to the end. The judges handed the Thai superstar a split-decision win, securing his third world title defence and his place as divisional king. In addition, he earned a US$50,000 bonus for his effort.
"[This money is] very important. This will be for building a house. And it's also for my parents – my mother and my father," Petchmorakot said.