Take a glance at Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy’s Instagram page and you’ll find out real quick that he and his manager, Nuttadaj Vachirarattanawong – or Sia Boat to many in the Muay Thai world – have a special relationship.
Sia Boat is like a friend, mentor, and sometimes father to the ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Champion.
Ahead of his co-main event clash with “The Boxing Computer” Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex at ONE: NO SURRENDER in Bangkok, Thailand, on Friday, 31 July, Petchmorakot recalls how he met Sia Boat and how the Petchyindee Academy manager motivates him to do better.
“At the time, I had completely nothing – no money and no future,” Petchmorakot said about his life before joining Petchyindee Academy.
The Thai was down on his luck at the time. He was dedicating a lot of time to training, but he felt like he wasn’t getting much in return. Also, he felt like he was missing out on life – so he began partying with friends and Muay Thai became an afterthought.
Until one day he realized that without “the art of eight limbs,” he wouldn’t have anything to fall back on, so he reached out to a Rajadamnern Stadium promoter for help.
“I realized I had to do something, so I asked Mitr Nakorn to help me, and he was the one who took me to Petchyindee Academy," Petchmorakot said.
When the 26-year-old arrived at the fabled Muay Thai gym in Bangkok, he met Sia Boat – and the relationship changed his life.
“Sia Boat has taught me a lot,” Petchmorakot said. "He teaches all of us fighters that we must repay the kindness we’ve experienced, that we must hold people in high regard, and beware of who they are. Whether they are our elders or influential people in the community, we must show respect. If we don’t remember this, we won’t progress as people."
Over the years, there’s no doubt that Petchmorakot has progressed not only as a person, but as an athlete, and it’s mostly because of the guidance he receives from Sia Boat.
“He’s always there to remind us,” he continued. “He loves us like family and raises us to be good people.”
Watch Petchmorakot defend his strap against Yodsanklai at ONE: NO SURRENDER live and for free this Friday, 31 July, by downloading the ONE Super App.
Published 29 Jul 2020, 14:07 IST