Saemapetch Fairtex faces Rodlek PKSaenchaigym for the third time at ONE: ‘No Surrender’ Part II on Friday. The winner will progress to the finals of the bantamweight Grand Prix.

Saemapetch is facing a familiar foe. He remembers the first fight with Rodlek well,

“The first time we fought was on a big roadshow type event in Nakhon Sri Thammarat in the South of Thailand. It was a very close back and forth fight and I won on points.”

Better condition

Saemapetch did some damage early on in the rematch but Rodlek came from behind to claim the win,

“Our second fight was on the Channel 7 show. I managed to drop Rodlek for an eight count in the second round, but he came forward relentlessly after and pulled the fight back. I lost a close points decision in that one.”

Saemapetch says that the trilogy bout will be different because this time around he will be well prepared,

“The first two times we fought I was still fighting out of a small gym in the north of Thailand and it was harder for me then to get into top shape. I was by far the biggest fighter in the gym and the other boxers were a lot smaller, so it was very difficult for me to get good sparring and clinching to prepare for fights. Now I am at Fairtex Gym I have lots of people to clinch and spar with so I will be in better condition this time for sure.”

Clean shots

Saemapetch expects another close, exciting match up and feels he knows what he needs to do to get the win,

“Rodlek likes to come forward and trade and I will look to take the fight to him too. I need to make sure I land clean with my shots and make it clear for the judges to see.”

It will be Saemapetch’s first fight since lockdown. But Fairtex was one of the first camps to reopen and he is confident that he will be in top condition come fight night,

”I kept myself in good shape throughout and we have a strong team here at Fairtex that love to work hard together so as soon as the restrictions were lifted, we were straight back to hard training. I am about 90% ready now and will be in perfect shape by the time of the fight.”

Title dream

Saemapetch was stopped by bantamweight champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao in a thrilling title match on ONE: ‘Edge of Greatness’ last November.

He believes winning the four man tournament should be enough to earn a second title shot,

“I think after two fights I will be ready to face Nong-O again. My dream is still to win the ONE World title. I never believed before I would get the chance to fight Nong-O, I looked up to him almost like an older brother and have so much respect for him and maybe showed too much of that the first time that we fought.

“I will make sure that doesn’t happen again if we fight.”