Saemapetch Fairtex Drives For the Win at Rebellion 21 against Tyler Hardcastle
Photos by Matt Lucas
By Sean Kearney
It’s been a long way for Saemapetch Fairtex. The Thai fighter is known for his strength, stamina and speed. And he has no plans on stopping anytime soon. He’s gone from receiving 500 baht at 11 years old to topping out the charts with his latest purses. His next stop is Australia’s premiere fight promotion Rebellion Muaythai 21 where he will battle fellow southpaw Tyler Hardcastle.
The 24-year-old southpaw from Doi Saket Chiang Mai has gone through over 200 fights on his journey. His first steps were much more modest. He began his training at Sor Chaowalit gym, fighting in the provinces before coming down to Bangkok to compete in the famous stadiums. He pushed forward through the local shows and won the famous 16 man Boon Sua Cement tournament for 500,000 baht, and recently signed a fight contract with One Fc Championship guaranteeing large purses for every fight.
Fairtex gym took him in in 2016, and now he’s being groomed as the next great Thai to represent Muay Thai worldwide. The international gym is well known for picking out prospects and adding to Saemapetch’s resume is his 59kg Channel 7 Stadium Championship and Army Muay Thai Championship at 63kg.
Since coming to Fairtex, Saemapetch has been able to soak up advice from international Muay Thai super star and teammate Yodsanklai Fairtex.
“Being a southpaw also, sometimes he shows me little tips and techniques,” Saemapetch said. “And gives me advice about fighting abroad. At first it was difficult for me adjusting to changes in food and travelling to different climates, but now I’m used to it.”
He’s adjusted to his worldwide expeditions and recently picked up the MTGP Welterweight title over Charlie Peters in London.
“Winning the MTGP 67kg title was a huge moment for me, and one of the proudest moments of my career,” Saemapetch said.
Taking the belts has been easy so far and he’s come out of the frays blissfully unscathed. “I haven’t had any many painful fights, I normally put the pain on my opponents.”
That’s not to say winning is easy, Saemapetch is now focusing solely on the international circuit which along with the climate and food adjustments means he has to adapt his style.
“Foreigners are more difficult to fight than Thais, because they sometimes have awkward movement, and unorthodox techniques,” he said. “When I fight with a Thai I know what weapons are going to be coming, and it’s easier to pick up on my opponent’s rhythm and timing.”
Fairtex gym is known for putting their fighters through rigorous training camps and Saemapetch is no different.
“I’ve been training extremely hard for this fight, kicking 6 rounds of pads with trainer Yoddaoneua every morning, and up to 8 rounds in the afternoon,” he said. “I’ve also added in a strength and conditioning program, and I feel like my weapons are much stronger and sharper. The boss here at Fairtex looks after me so well, taking good care of my nutrition and training.”
Sometimes Thais are known for under-training, and underestimating their foreign opponents but Saemapetch isn’t taking this fight lightly.
“I’ve already watched some videos of my opponent. I saw he’s a tall southpaw, with a nice head kick, but he doesn’t block kicks very well. Normally when two southpaws fight, whoever can get their weapons off first will win, so I plan to pull the trigger as quickly as possible,” he said.
Preferring to hover quite close to his fighting weight and not put his body through the torture of cutting a lot of weight, Saemapetch often gives up height and weight in the ring.
“It doesn’t bother me at all, I just go in there and follow my game plan, do what I do best,” he said.
His ultimate game plan is to grow his career and save as much as possible while his heath is still good.
“I just want to make as much money as possible, and become a superstar like my teammate Yodsanklai Fairtex,” he said.
Every fighter needs some time off from the rigours of the Muay Thai game, Saemapetch enjoys travelling on his motorcycle when not preparing for fights.
“I love taking trips riding my motorcycle around Thailand. Sometimes I even ride from Pattaya, all the way up to my home in Northern Thailand and back,” said the motorcycle fanatic.
Outside of Muay Thai, motorcycles is Saemapetch’s only other passion, and the owner of a red 500cc Honda wants to add more bikes to his collection.
The direction for the Thai is clear, a win over Tyler Hardcastle at Rebellion 21 in Melbourne on March 2nd could see him put more positive mileage on his career. He wants to get to the finish and he’s willing to take the race to Australia to take on Riddler’s Gym’s best. Whatever happens in the ring the fans know that they are in for a show. It will be a high speed collision. Regardless of the decision Saemapetch Fairtex is going places and he’s steering for the top spot.
Saemapetch Fairtex faces Tyler Hardcastle on March 2nd in the Main Event of Rebellion Muaythai 21 - Tickets and Livestream PPV via Rebellionmuaythai.com.au