Pudpadnoi Worawut Biography & Best Fights

Pudpadnoi Worawut: “The Golden Leg” – Biography & Best Fights

In the vibrant Muay Thai scene of the 1970s, a fighter emerged embodying the rare fusion of technical finesse and relentless aggression, characteristic of the old school Muay Femur style. Revered as one of the era’s most intelligent kickers, his mastery of middle and high kicks in particular left an indelible mark on the sport’s history.

Name:Pudpadnoi Worawut
Birth Name:Ponn Ommklin
Thai Name:ผุดผาดน้อย วรวุฒิ
Date of Birth:June 25th 1951 
Place of Birth:Khon Kaen province, Thailand
Nicknames:The Golden Leg, Pi Moo, Pud Pad Noy
Height:172 cm (5 ft 8 in)
Weight:130 lb (59 kg; 9 st 4 lb)
Style:Muay Thai, Fimeu
Stance: Southpaw
Fighting out of: Bangkok, Thailand
Occupation:Muay Thai trainer

Pudpadnoi Worawut was born in 1951 in the province of Khon Kaen. He is the fourth child in a family of eight siblings, consisting of five boys and three girls. Among his four brothers who pursued careers as fighters, his elder brother and his younger brother stood out as the most accomplished. However, neither sibling reached the heights that Pudpadnoi did.

Pudpadnoi began training Muaythai at a small camp owned by Mr. Mungkarndee and Mr. Yool Hanjab in Khon Kaen. He was trained by Kru Sornthong, who imparted his technical style, in particular, the high kick which Pudpadnoi would go on to have much success with.

At the age of 14, under the name Pudpadnoi Han Phajon, he fought for the first time representing the camp. Pudpadnoi then went undefeated in 60 fights over the next three years, competing in various events in the Issan region.

Pudpadnoi Worawut
A young Pudpadnoi Worawut

Bangkok Bound

At age 18, Pudpadnoi made the switch to Bangkok after he was advised by a friend of his older brother to train at the Worawut Camp in the district of Phra Nakhon. The camp was owned by Mr. Pornput Worawut, who was a Pianist who played at luxurious hotels around the city. He was a big Muaythai enthusiast, and personally trained and managed around ten fighters at the camp.

Pudpadnoi made an immediate impact on the crowds in Bangkok, being nicknamed “The Golden Leg” after his very first bout in Rajadamnern Stadium which he ended in the second round with a left kick to Singthon Singbatan’s head. Following this, Pudpadnoi embarked on a remarkable run of results which saw him winning 17 fights from 19, and emerging victorious in a 108 lbs 16-man tournament at Rajadamnern Stadium.

Pudpadnoi Worawut (light) vs Noknoi Singthanongsak (dark) | July 9th, 1971- Lumpinee Stadium (points victory)

This run culminated in a challenge for the vacant 112 lbs Lumpinee title against Kiatpatum Phanphang-ngaon on January 29th, 1971. Pudpadnoi won the fight by decision, becoming Lumpinee champion at 19 years old.

Before the end of the year, Pudpadnoi had put himself in contention for the vacant 122 lbs Lumpinee title by defeating several top contenders such as Songkramchai Kiat Chor Por and Ritthichai Lukkajao.

He fought Suksawad Srithewet for the title in November, winning the bout in a points victory and becoming the new 122 lbs Lumpinee champion.

Rude Awakening and Continuation

After bathing in the success of his 122 lbs Lumpinee belt win for less than six weeks, Pudpadnoi received a rude awakening at Lumpinee Stadium. He fought Vicharnnoi Pontawee, a former Rajadamnern and Lumpinee title holder in the 112 lbs division who was desperate to move back up the ranks in Bangkok’s biggest stadiums. In addition, the man from Pathum Thani province was in top form, having beaten Poot Lorlek by decision a month earlier at Lumpinee.

Pudpadnoi and Vicharnnoi fought at a packed Lumpinee Stadium in December of that year. In the third round, “The Immortal” Vicharnnoi unleashed a devastating one-two combination, knocking out Pudpadnoi.

Undeterred by his loss to another elite fighter from that era, Pudpadnoi went on to defeat notable fighters such as Fahsai Taweechai, Denthoranee Muangsurin and Bundit Singprakarn. The win against Bundit was significant as Bundit had won the vacant 126 lbs Lumpinee title against Denthoranee one month prior. Pudpadnoi disposed of Bundit in the third round with yet another high kick KO.

Pudpadnoi Worawut (light) vs Fahsai Taweechai (dark) | June 27th, 1972 – Lumpinee Stadium (points victory)

In June, 1973, Pudpadnoi challenged for yet another vacant Lumpinee title, this time in the 130 lbs division against Chaiyut Sitiboonlert. Pudpadnoi won the bout on points, capturing his third Lumpinee title.

Legendary Stretch

Pudpadnoi Worawut (left) vs Khunponnoi Kiatsuriya
Pudpadnoi Worawut (left) vs Khunponnoi Kiatsuriya | July 26th, 1974 – Lumpinee Stadium (points defeat)

Between 1973 and 1975, Pudpadnoi fought many of the greatest fighters of that generation. Notably, he fought Yodsing Por.Payathai on three occasions in catch-weight bouts where Yodsing was 10-12 lbs heavier than Pudpadnoi. Pudpadnoi lost the first fight by judges’ decision, and won the second and third bouts.

Pudpadnoi Worawut (right) and Apidej Sit Hirun after their fight in 1975
Pudpadnoi Worawut (right) and Apidej Sit Hirun after their fight | October 14th, 1975 – Lumpinee Stadium (points victory)

He also defeated Apidej Sit-Hirun, Vicharnnoi Porntawee, Sirimongkol Looksiripat and Nate Saknarong during this fruitful period.

Pudpadnoi Worawut (light) vs Apidej Sit-Hirun (dark) | October 14th, 1975 – Lumpinee Stadium (points victory)
Pudpadnoi Worawut (light) vs Sirimongkol Looksiripat (dark) | December 23rd, 1975 – Lumpinee Stadium (points victory)

Although Pudpadnoi defeated Vicharnnoi for the second time in 1976, the last few years of his career took a downward turn as he suffered defeats against Jocky Sitkanpai, Nate Saknarong, Nongkhai Sor.Prapatsorn, and Toshio Fujiwara, among others.

Pudpadnoi Worawut (left) vs Viacharnnoi Porntawee (right) | May 27th, 1976 – Rajadamnern Stadium (points victory)

In August, 1979, Pudpadnoi fought “The Great Kicker from Bangsue” Payap Premchai, in a defeat that would mark his last ever fight in Bangkok at the highest level.

Pudpadnoi Worawut vs Payap Premchai - 1979
Pudpadnoi Worawut (left) pictured with Payap Premchai before their bout in August 1979

Pudpadnoi Worawut Legacy

Pudpadnoi embodied the spirit of a Muay Femur, but did not fight on the back foot like many technical fighters from the 1980s onwards. Instead, he possessed a more aggressive style, implementing his middle kicks and high kicks while on the front foot.

Pudpadnoi stands out as a true exemplar of a bygone age. His aggressive yet technically masterful approach, characterised by middle and high kicks delivered while on the offensive, define him as a legend in the realms of Muay Thai. While the sport has evolved since his prime in the 1970s, Pudpadnoi’s style remains a testament to the skill and ferocity of that era.

Left to right: Samart Payakaroon, Phadetsuek Phitsanurachan, Pudpadnoi Worawut
Left to right: Samart Payakaroon, Phadetsuek Phitsanurachan, Pudpadnoi Worawut

After retirement, Pudpadnoi relocated to France to coach at the Muaythai France Gym in Paris where he would remain for the next 23 years. One of his most accomplished students during this time was Guillaume Kerner who won several titles during a lengthy professional career.

In 2004, Pudpadnoi moved to Sweden to coach the Swedish national team for three years before relocating to the Philippines to coach their national team for a further two years.

Today, Pudpadnoi is a Muay Thai referee and judge in Bangkok.

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