WBA Boxing World Champion and Evolve MMA instructor Yodsanan Sityodtong’s rise to fame and glory is a tale of hard work and perseverance. It is fueled by his determination to become a World Champion despite all odds. Today, Evolve Daily sits down with Yodsanan as he gives advice to budding World Champions.
Born and raised in a small farming community, Yodsanan knew that he wanted more out of life, not only for himself but also for his family. He realized that being a farmer would not be enough to sustain his family. He needed something more, something that would inspire him and give him the opportunity to succeed in life. At 17 years of age, Yodsanan made the decision to walk away from the fields to start a career in Muay Thai at Sityodtong Camp in Pattaya, Thailand.
Although Yodsanan worked much harder than his peers, his mentor, Kru Yodtong told him that he simply did not have what it takes to become a great Muay Thai fighter. But what he did have was the great knockout power of a boxer. In the end, Kru Yodtong’s prophecy about Yodsanan became a reality. Today, Yodsanan holds one of the highest knockout (KO) ratios in history for any Boxing World Champion. Out of 58 victories, 48 were KOs.
Here are the 5 keys to his success:
1) Don’t be afraid of hard work.
Even if training at Sityodtong camp was hard work, Yodsanan was determined to train even more than his peers. He would hit pads longer and harder than anyone else. He would do almost anything to give himself an advantage, always pushing himself to the limit.
They asked us to run 12 kilometers, so I ran 40,” explains Yodsanan. “I always wanted to do more.”
2) Always have a backup plan.
After achieving several boxing championship titles, Yodsanan was determined to fulfill his dream of attending university. In between training sessions, he’d drive 50 kilometers each way to and from school. He knew that his boxing career wouldn’t last forever and he would need something to fall back on.
I’ve always valued the importance of having a good education,” reveals Yodsanan. “It’s a lesson that I hope to pass on to my son, who’s now still in school.”
3) Never take “no” for an answer.
After being told that he wasn’t talented enough to be a Muay Thai fighter, Yodsanan persevered and trained even harder to become a boxer.
Everyone said that I wasn’t good,” says Yodsanan. “So I proved them wrong by training harder than everyone else. You only have one opportunity to become a champion, and so I wanted to make the most out of my chance.”
4) Loyalty is important.
Yodsanan knows he would have never become a World Champion without the help of his mentor. He believes that one of the best ways to show gratitude is through proving his loyalty to Sityodtong Camp. “I am extremely loyal to Kru Yodtong and to Sityodtong Camp,” Yodsanan emphasized. “I’ve never trained anywhere else.” By paying homage to those who have helped him achieve World Champion status, he not only shows great respect and honor but loyalty as well. “Without Kru Yodtong, I don’t know where else I’d be,” says Yodsanan.
5) Don’t let anyone bring you down.
Yodsanan’s career has been one tumultuous ride. Even after winning 57 fights, Yodsanan still wasn’t living the life he dreamed of after a successful boxing career. Unfortunately, many of his promoters had misappropriated Yodsanan’s earnings, forcing him to look for other jobs. He also had his share of “haters”, mocking him relentlessly that he lacked talent. Instead of letting them bring him down, Yodsanan took all of his misfortune in stride and used the negativity as inspiration to do even better in life.
Since 2010, Yodsanan has found a home and family at Evolve MMA. He is also able to live a more comfortable life, providing ample financial support for his family in Thailand. Finally, he has found a place to share all that he has learned from his experience as a professional boxer with his students.
Fighting for your dream isn’t easy, ” states Yodsanan. “You must fight hard to achieve it.”
Fighting tooth and nail to achieve all that he has today, Yodsanan Sityodtong is a great example of how martial arts can remarkably change one’s life.