Singtongnoi Por Telakun has been given a second chance at life, and he is determined to take full advantage of it.
The Lumpinee Stadium and WMC Muay Thai World Champion was diagnosed with cancer and had to fight hard to beat the illness.
It would have been enough to end the careers of lesser men, but the 38-year-old made a remarkable winning return to action in ONE Super Series in May.
Now Singtongnoi takes on Masahide “Crazy Rabbit” Kudo in a flyweight kickboxing bout at ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES in Bangkok, Thailand on Saturday, 6 October.
The Thai veteran is grateful to be back in action and determined to put on a show for his fellow countrymen at the Impact Arena.
“I am very thankful to be competing in ONE Championship no matter where it is held, but to be competing in Bangkok is extra special,” he says.
“It is my first time competing in Bangkok since I recovered from cancer. All my family will be there. It will be fun.”
Singtongnoi is rated as one of the best Muay Thai world champions of his era, and is a familiar face to fans who regularly flocked to Thailand’s famous Muay Thai stadiums.
Though he is not competing for a World Title in Bangkok on Saturday night, Singtongnoi acknowledges the scale of the stage he now competes on as part of ONE Championship’s striking series.
ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES will feature the most diverse bout card in the organisation’s history. As well as a clutch of mixed martial arts contests, the event will feature a host of ONE Super Series contests, as well as a WBC Super Flyweight World Title boxing match in the main event.
Singtongnoi is excited to be a part of the huge event in Bangkok this weekend.
“ONE Championship is the biggest organisation I’ve competed in,” Singtongnoi says.
“I’ve competed in all the top Muay Thai stadiums in Thailand, but ONE Championship is a global event. This event in Bangkok is huge and I can’t wait.”
Singtongnoi made his ONE Super Series debut against Joseph “Hurricane” Lasiri at ONE: UNSTOPPABLE DREAMS in his adopted home of Singapore back in May, and despite a seasoned career that features 221 wins, he admitted to feeling nervous ahead of his first match under the ONE Championship banner.
“I felt a bit of pressure for my first bout in ONE as it was my first bout since overcoming stage 3 cancer,” he says.
“It was an amazing feeling to get back into competition and pick up the win. This time around, I’m just as excited and can’t wait to get back in there.
“The Thai fans are going to give me tons of energy for this bout. To be able to perform in front of them on such a huge event for the country – it is something I’m very proud of.”
Singtongnoi won that bout via second-round stoppage, and he returns to action against Japanese kickboxing star Kudo in a bid to earn back-to-back victories in ONE Super Series.
“I expect to perform better this time around compared to my first bout. Even though I won, I believe I will do better in my second bout,” he states.
“My opponent is a good kickboxer from Japan. He has good punches and low kicks. I expect it to be a good bout.
“I will just need to fight the way I know I can, and I will win. This is my first ever bout under kickboxing rules, so there are some adjustments to make, but I’m confident.”