When it comes to accolades in the striking world, few have collected as many in as short a space of time as Thai phenom Petchdam Petchyindee Academy.
‘Baby Shark has experienced a meteoric rise to the heights of the arts of Muay Thai and kickboxing, claiming the prestigious Lumpinee Stadium and WBC Muay Thai World Championships, as well as the Toyota Marathon Tournament Title, all within the space of three years.
Deciding to cross over to kickboxing, he stepped into the bright lights of the planet’s most talent-rich striking promotion at ONE Super Series, immediately making an impact with a string of knockouts with his trademark lethal left-kick.
It’s staggering to think he accomplished all of this before his 23rd birthday. But if it had been up to his protective mother, we may not have been privileged to witness those prodigious skills and their rapid development.
Having identified Muay Thai as a way out of poverty for his struggling farming family, Petchdam showed immediate promise and was soon eager to take his abilities to the next level, and fortunately, his father was able to persuade his concerned mother that this is what their son was destined to do.
“My dad was the one who encouraged and supported me. My mum was worried about me and didn’t want me to continue – but my dad fought for me and we won,” Petchdam recalled. “It was what I wanted to do.”
In hindsight, it was a life-changing decision for both he and his family. He’s gone from strength to strength since, and is now preparing to take on Ilias Ennahachi in his first title defense at ONE: Dreams of Gold in Bangkok on August 16.
The Dutch-Moroccan star is the latest world-class talent to be acquired by ONE Championship and he’ll be put straight to the test in a tough promotional debut against the prodigious Thai.
Petchdam won his belt on home soil and now he wants to make his first defense at the very same venue, and he’s calling on his countrymen to come out in droves and help power him to victory.
“I want to ask the Thai people to come and cheer for me once again. In my last fight, the support I received from Thai people helped me win,” said Petchdam. Also in action at Impact Arena will be two mouthwatering ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix semi-final bouts between Giorgio Petrosyan and Smokin’ Jo Nattawut, as well as Samy Sana against Dzhabar Askerov in the race for the US $1 million prize.