video above – PTT is the pad work top fighter of Petchrungruang. He’s only 17 years old but I’ve been told that he’s the number one contender for the 130 lbs title at Lumpinee (with some issues of promotional conflict), and number three contender for the same weight at Rajadamnern. I really like PTT. He’s quiet, very confident and sweet, and absolutely loves Jai Dee (our soi dog adoption). He’s also the first example of a fighter I came across who can do minimal training and not suffer for it in the ring. He basically runs, clinches, and does a little padwork but only right before fights – this after years and years of training, starting at Petchrungruang at age 7 or 8. Pi Nu talks about how when he was young he lost and lost, and about how much the gamblers hated him. Now offers to buy his contract come rolling in. Pi Nu says “I couldn’t pay you to take him before”. Some big gyms buy up the contracts of Thai fighters when they get good, some gyms do the work raising top fighters since they were boys. Many of the champions at top name gyms were not developed with them. PTT is Petchrungruang through and through.
PTT is a muay khao fighter, which literally means a “knee fighter.” It’s a style of fighting often contrasted with muay femur (artistic fighting), and sometimes with muay book (a slugger). He stays close, clinches and just destroys his opponents with knees, but he does it in a very slow, methodical way. You can see his slow, eroding style perfectly in this fight in Isuzu tournament from yesterday. This also I believe is his first time fighting at his semi-natural weight. He’s not dropping and is fighting at 70 kg (154 lbs), to make him as strong as possible (he weighed in at 153.2)
So when he trains, his padwork consists of counted kicks (like, 100 each side) for fitness purposes, but the actual rounds are ground out in very close proximity and 90% of the strikes are elbows or knees. He actually requires more than one trainer because he tires them out – Mod Ek will wear the belly pad and mitts to take all the knees and elbows and be thrown about in clinch turns, then he’ll get out of the ring and Pi Earn or Chicken Man will hold for the kicks. It’s pretty amazing.
Not long ago I got a request from someone on my page to make more videos for muay kao fighting style. I immediately thought of PTT’s rounds with Mod Ek. I happen to be a muay kao fighter as well and it’s only thanks to PTT’s massive success with this style that my gym not only recognizes, but also understands and fosters this style in me. So I watch PTT’s training for myself as well, watching how he waits for a knee to go up so he can whip his opponent to the side and land a knee while he’s off-balanced. How he pushes forward while his hips come back so he can land a hard straight knee, and really how he stays so damn close at all times to be in range for his best weapons: knees and elbows.
This PTT padwork video (at top) is just part of a round with PTT and Mod Ek, a few days before PTT fought in the Isuzu Tournament at Omnoi Stadium (the fight is above). As mentioned, the tournament is at his natural weight, so he’s not cutting at all for it, which is unusual but he crushed his opponent. It was only the first round in an 8 Man, so he’s got a ways to go but I think he’s gonna clean the whole thing.
Picture from Muay Siam of PTT’s first fight in the Isuzu Tournament against Mongkonpet (“diamond dragon”)