Last Friday, Petchmorakot Pechindee Academy brought home a stunning win against Giorgio “the Doctor” Petrosyan and, as often happens with split decisions, the judges score generated a lot of discussion. The decision was later declared No Contest because of the inadequate control by the referee of excessive clinching. I carefully looked at the video of the fight, patiently recorded each single strike to come out with few charts of stats.
The tale of the numbers
Count by class and round
The much anticipated ONE Featherweight Kickboxing Grand Prix met the fan expectations with a show that kept us on the edge of the seat, delivered memorable knock downs and unanticipated turn of events.
The underdog, Petchmorakot Pechindee Accademy got an unexpected win, under kickboxing rules, against arguably the best pound-for-pound kickboxer of all times, Giorgio Petrosyan. The 2 division Lumpinee Stadium World Championships Petchmorakot Pechindee Accademy is certainly not a rookie of the game, but under these tournament rules he could not use some of his most sharp weapons (elbows)…nevertheless he managed to keep up with Giorgio.
Today (Wednesday, May 22), Chatri Sityodtong announced on Facebook that a Competition Committee declared the bout a No Contest: Petchmorakot Pechindee Accademy relied too heavily on clinch.
I looked at the fight in slow-motion and, using a profession event logging software, I recorded all the strikes annotating those that landed. I intentionally avoided to include any metric of the “intensity” of the strikes which would have required a much more subjective and thus opinable evaluation.
Well, let’s cut to the chase and get to the first chart: strikes landed.
The first round was all about Petrosyan. He outboxed Petchmorakot (11 punches landed), he was successful with low and front kicks (8 kicks landed) and he also landed a couple of knees. Pechmorakot had really few answers. Most observators (Petchmorakot too!) agree that this was Petrosyan’s round.
In the second round, Pechmorakot come back with a strategy: jab his way in, clinch and land knees. This strategy payed and Petchmorakot landed many knees (19) and also occasional punches (4). Petrosyan relied less on kicks but continued to score with his boxing (14 punches). He also managed to land some knees in the clinch too. In terms of number of strikes landed (see also table below), this was a very very close round (I counted 24 for Petchmorakot and 25 for Petrosyan).
The third round was the consolidation of Pechmorakot’s strategy. He continued to enter into clinch to knee (10 knees) and effectively nullifying Petrosyan’s attempt of boxing. This was the round in which Petrosyan landed the least number of strikes. In this round Petchmorakot got a slight edge over Petroysian in terms of strikes landed.
Tabulated totals by round
We can have an even simpler bare-bone picture of the fight looking at the strikes landed vs total (landed + thrown; table below).
In the first round Petrosyan landed about 3-times more strikes than Pechmorakot. In the second round, the number of strikes landed by the 2 fighters was quite close (24 vs 25), whereas in the third, Petchmorakot had a slight edge over Petrosyan (11 vs 8). In terms of strikes thrown, both the fighters were similarly active.
I have to admit that these numbers surprised me: I had the impression that Petrosyan was much more active than Petchmorakot. So I decided to look back at the fight, check more metrics and then I got it…
Lead and Back side
Let’s look at the total shots and distinguish them depending on the side used to strikes. In the following plot the lead side strikes are plotted on the right side of the polygon while the back side strikes on the left.
Petrosyan extensively used his boxing throwing both his left and power hand in similar proportions. He usually avoid to throw bare single shots and prefers to rely more on strike combinations, in this fight jab-cross-hook.
Petchmorak used extensively his lead head that throw more than 100 times. How many of these lead hands did he successfully land? Only 6 times in all the fight (data not shown). While this seems a quite unsuccessful use of a technique, it was just part of the strategy: Petchmorak used his left hand to disrupt Petrosyan boxing, enter in to clinch, and to land knees. He literally throw more than 105 jabs in order to land 33 knees.
I counted each single strike and… it still was a really tight fight!.
Petrosyan clearly dominated in the first round and landed 3-times more strikes than Petchmorakot.
In the second round Petchmorakot started clinching and landed several knees: overall the number of strikes landed by the 2 fighters was virtually the same.
In the last round Petchmorakot kept kneeing while Petrosyan landed fewer punches than in the previous rounds: in these last round Petchmorakot landed few more strikes than Petrosyan.
In summary, if we look at the strikes landed, it could have gone one way or the other, and thus the decision mostly depends on the damage and “cleanness” that you attribute to the shots. Do you think that Petchmorakot’s knees made more damage than Petrosyan’s punches or viceversa?
The bout has been declared a No Contest see link…so we are ready and excited for the next battle of these 2 fighters.
Did you see this?
A couple of actions that you might have overlooked.