If you were a gamer from the 90s, “Street Fighter” was the most popular game by Capcom company. It was so popular that it is one of the highest-grossing video games of all time with many recognized characters to choose. One of the main villains was “Sagat”, the tall Muay Thai fighter from Thailand who wears an eye patch with the famous “Tiger Uppercut” is his favorite move. The name “Sagat” is actually come from the name of the famous Muay Thai fighter at that time, “Sakad Pontawee” or “Sakad Petchyindee”.
He was 3 times Lumpinee Champion, 3 times Rajadamnern Champion, Muay Thai and Kickboxing World Champions with an impressive 317 Muay Thai fight, 266 wins, 40 losses and 11 draws. 151 victories by KO. He also holds records of Wai Kru Champion 11 years in a row.
Watch Sakad Wai Kru move >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpFcKxkOsH8
He started fighting at the age of 11. His grandfather was also a legendary fighter name “Suk Prasat Hin Phimai” who has a statue at Phimai, Nakhon Ratchasima Province. He has a great ability to fight with natural talent from his blood. He transformed from a hundred Baht fighter into a champion worth more than 100,000 Baht. His first title was Rajadamnern’s Bantamweight 118lb champion. While in this division, he fought with famous fighters such as Apidej Sithiran, Singhnum Pethtanin and Kaopong Sitchuchai but none of them can take him down, then he had to give up his title because no one wants to face him.
His main weapon is his powerful punch with quick movement on the ring, his camp’s owner convinced him to turn to professional boxing because he sees Sakad potential and Sakad didn’t let him down, he won his first 2 boxing fights with Juan Antonio López (MEX) and Hisami Mizuno (JAP) and then he was in the title race with the current World Champion at that time, Wilfredo “Bazooka” Gómez (PUR).
The fight was anticipated among Thai people. The hype was so high that thousands of people come to see the fight, more than 3 km of vehicles were parked on the street of Nakhon Ratchasima province. Sadly, there were too many people on the stadium that caused the stand to collapses before the fight began. However, the fight continued and Sakad was lost in the 2nd round and had become one of the biggest disappointment in Thailand’s sports event.
Sakad regained his confident by coming back to Muay Thai and him still unbeatable. He later moved to Petchyindee camp with 1.5 million Baht transfer fee and fight in the heavier division which was Junior Welterweight 140 lb division. He became the Junior Welter champion and could not find anyone to fight him again. Then he reduced his weight to fight in Featherweight 126 lb.
At the age of 25, he lost 8 fights in a row and thought about retirement. He went to see Phra Thep Wittayakom or Luang Por Koon (Thailand’s most famous Buddhist monk) to blessed him and gave him some advice about life. He returned to his winning routine and became Lumpinee’s Champion in Featherweight and Lightweight. He defended all his titles in every division and then retire from Muay Thai.
Sakad became Samart Payakaroon’s sparring partner when Samart was training for the World Boxing Champion. However, the camp’s owner still saw his desire and brought him back to boxing again and won 2 titles. Sakad retired again at the age of 28.
Watch Sakad sparring with Samart Payakaroon >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNU_8_3pr-k
Then he went to Australia to teach Muay Thai. After 2 years in Australia, he came back to the ring and won Kickboxing Champion in Japan where he inspired Capcom to use his name as one of their Street Fighter characters.
With all his fame and money, he lost his way and turned back from Kickboxing and spent most of his money on drugs and alcohol. Sadly, Sakad’s name became gradually vanish from Muay Thai history. He’s now 60 and tries to come back to Muay Thai as a trainer again.
Translated from the interview with Sakad here >> http://www.manager.co.th/OnlineSection/ViewNews.aspx?NewsID=9590000032423