This is the fight between Petchboonchu vs Greg Wooton that took place last year. It was a battle of one of the UK’s best clinchers Greg Wootton vs one of the best Thailand’s best fighters Petchboonchu. While Petchboonchu usually fights at 61kg, he was taking this fight at 65kg. This was the classic matchup of size vs skill.
A Quick Word about the Referee
Before I talk about the fight, I wanted to show you a clip to showcase how bad some Western referees are. These guys don’t understand the rules of Muay Thai, yet they are the people in the ring who are tasked with enforcing the rules. This clip shows it all.
In Muay Thai, you are allowed to grab your opponents leg for a short moment, but you have to release it. You are not allowed to simply hold someone’s leg and keep grabbing it for 5+ seconds in a fight, putting him off balance. This is a foul and the referee should have broken it up after 2 seconds.
Recently a fighter in Thailand was disqualified from a win because he traveled over 2 steps to run his opponent into the ground with a knee.
In this fight, the referee stands around watching and doesn’t even realize this is a problem. Because of this, both fighters are able to hold on to kicks throughout the fight without being broken up. Given the fact that this ref probably doesn’t ref Muay Thai fights very often, it isn’t very surprising he doesn’t understand the rules.
Anyways, we all know that most refs and judges don’t know much about Muay Thai, so let’s get back to the fight.
My Thoughts on the Fight
When I first heard that Greg Wootton was going up against Petchboonchu, I didn’t believe he had a chance. Without taking anything away from Greg, his opponent is better technically and far more experienced.
After seeing the fight video, I was impressed by Greg’s performance against the champ. If this fight was scored in Thailand, Petchboonchu would have won on points, however, as I’ve already stated in the past, when you fight in front of Western judges they don’t score it like they do in Thailand.
Either way, it was a great effort by Greg Wootton to do enough to ensure he won the fight in front of his fans. He was able to take advantage of a size and strength advantage (he looked 10kg heavier) over his opponent. This superior size and strength allowed him to clinch with the Thai champion.
In order for Petchboonchu to win the fight, he needed to decisively beat Greg after getting caught with that elbow in the first round, which he wasn’t able to do.
In the future, I would like to see Greg Wootton fight a bigger Thai fighter like Sudsakorn or Saiyok to see how he fairs against guys who are closer to his size. I also think the fight with Liam Harrison would be a good match too.
Whatever happens to Greg in the future, he should definitely be proud of this win. He held his own against a Thai champion, which is something he should be proud of.