Penek Sitnumnoi 2011 Sportswriters boxer of the year
Of all the many awards given out in Thailand to the stars of the Muaythai fight scene, the Sportswriters of Thailand award, given around April-May each year is the most prestigious. Voted on over a few stages by a panel of Sportswriters, the award is given to the boxer with not just the best record for the year, but also seen to have the best credibility in the eyes of the judges and boxing community.
Penek from Phattalung province in Southern Thailand, became only the fourth Southern boxer to take the award, following in the footsteps of Jaroensap Kiatbanchong, Namsaknoi Yuthgarnkamton and Anuwat Kaewsamrit.
Occasionally the is the opportunity if the weights are close enough for the two leading contenders for the award to fight off just before the award is announced, setting the stage for a dramatic night of action as seen on the 4th of May when the 2011 two main contenders Sam-A Gaiyanghaadao and Penek Sitnumnoi did battle.
The year leading up to the award saw an almost flawless record for Penek with only one draw amongst the wins, which was turned into a win in the rematch.
His record was as follows:
Draw vs Saenkeng Jor Nopparat @ Lumpini
Win pts vs Pokaew Fonjaengchonburi @ Lumpini
Win pts vs Farmai Skindiew gym @ Phattalung province
Win pts vs Saenkeng Jor Nopparat @ Lumpini
Win pts vs Mongkolchai Petsuphapaan @ Lumpini for Lumpini Featherweight title
Win pts vs Sittisak Chengsimiew gym @ Ch7 stadium for Ch7 Super-featherweight title
Win T.K.O rd 3 vs Sittisak Chengsimiew gym @ Songkhla Province
Win pts vs Saeksan Or Kwanmuang @ Lumpini
Win T.K.O rd 4 vs Wanchalerm Chor Churnkamol @ Lumpini for Lumpini Super-featherweight title
Win Sam-A Gaiyanghaadaogym @ Lumpini for Lumpini and Thailand Featherweight titles
Muaythaifocus caught up with Penek at the awards ceremony and found out a little more about this talented young fighter.
How old were you when you started out in muaythai?
Penek: I started Muaythai when I was 10, I am 22 years old now.
What made you start Muaythai?
Penek: I wasn’t too serious at first and just did it because i enjoyed it, but not long after I became more serious and gave it my best.
What is your favorite fight in your career so far?
Penek: The last fight, beating Sam-A and winning the Boxer of the year award.
How confident were you before the fight?
Penek: I felt 100% sure I was going to win, but very excited and nervous as it was such a big fight.
How did you prepare to fight Sam-A did you have a gamplan before and train for it.
Penek: We worked all the time in the gym on blocking the left bodykick and also work a lot on my elbows.
How does it feel to win the boxer of the year award?
Penek: I feel very proud and happy, its the biggest achievement in my career so far and it was tough to go into the last fight as I was the underdog and not many people thought i would win this award.
What was your toughest fight so far in your career?
Penek: Against Denchiangkwan Laemthonggarnpaet, I won on points, but he broke my nose and cut me badly with his elbows.
Whats your favorite style of fighter to come up against?
Penek: I like to fight boxers with the same style as me, clinch and knee fighters.
Whats your least favorite style?
Penek: I dont like to fight awkward, fast, technical fighters.
How much longer do you think you will fight for?
Penek; As long as my body allows me to compete at the top level.
Do you have any idea what you want to do after you stop boxing?
Penek: To be honest I still feel young and haven’t really thought about it yet.
Who would you most like to fight next?
Penek: Petek Kiatyongyut
Do you have another fight program yet?
Penek: They have mentioned me fighting Saenchai on the 8th of June, but will need to clear the weight first.
Do you think you can win that fight and how?
Penek Yes i can win if it is at the right weight for me, I would win it in the later rounds after pressure from my knees.