SEAN CLANCY continues to make history.
The Corkman was named WBC MuayThai fighter of the year for 2019 after enjoying some remarkable success, which saw him win the WBC International title in March of last year before then going on to claim the WBC MuayThai Super-Lightweight World title the following July.
But now he is celebrating arguably the most significant moment of his career having become the first Irish fighter to sign for the prestigious ONE Championship promotion.
“Signing with ONE is an amazing feeling,” Clancy told the Echo.
“To fight on the biggest stage is a dream, words cannot describe the feeling.
"I had people in contact with me and I had to direct them to my bossman Martin Horgan to talk more but becoming the first Irishman to sign for them is an amazing feeling.
“The plan now is to open the door and let the world know why the Irish are some of the best fighters in the world.
"To represent my country is always an honour, I take such pride in fighting for my country.
“I can’t wait for my debut fight, the plan is to let them know the Irish have arrived.”
The Fermoy native has gone from strength to strength since making the difficult decision to leave the Rebel County to pursue a career in MuayThai fighting over in its birthplace, Thailand, almost five years ago.
But moments like this have made all those sacrifices worthwhile and not even a global pandemic could stop him from progressing.
“During this Coronavirus pandemic things haven’t been easy,” he added.
“I have been doing my best to keep motivated and to keep in shape during the lockdown.
"I have missed so many fights which wasn’t easy but I believe it wasn’t easy for all of the fighters.
“Personally as well, not being able to see my family is one of the most difficult things for me.
“The sacrifices are endless. Even to this day sacrifices still continue as I work, work, work to chase a dream.
“I came to Thailand with a bag on my back and a couple of cents to my name to step out of my comfort zone, to work and push myself to the next level and always working to be better.”
Clancy’s success comes as no surprise to his aforementioned “bossman” Martin Horgan who has seen first hand the hard work and dedication the fighter has put into the sport.
And the coach, who works with Siam Warriors in Cork, was keen to stress how big an opportunity this is.
“ONE Championship has had major investment and they have become major players in the industry,” said Horgan.
“They run three sports; MMA, kickboxing, and MuayThai.
"They are all over Asia, they are achieving crowds of 10 to 20 thousand at every event so they are a big, big production.
“They are making big moves and are even taking on the U.F.C with their M.M.A fighting so it’s a massive achievement for Seán.
“You ask any fighter involved in Thaiboxing, anyone around the world their main objective is to be signed by ONE because they have all the high profile fighters.
“They pay really well, their coverage and their support of fighters is really good.
"Everywhere in Southeast Asia, they are capturing a huge audience.
“Obviously, that side of the world has a huge population but they are creating huge growth social-media wise and their platform is free as well so everyone can watch it.
“It’s the cherry on top for Sean’s career really.
"He’s the first Irish athlete to do it out of all the fighters and he is the most deserving too because he is our most successful ever MuayThai fighter.
“This is a great reward for him for everything he has put into the sport.”
The next steps for Clancy now involve gaining weight for the division he will be fighting in at ONE while he also hopes to secure more sponsorship to aid his development.
But his biggest hope is that the people back home in Cork follow him on his incredible journey that is only just getting started thanks to this huge new deal with ONE.
“The biggest help for me has been all the support I’ve received,” he added.
“That support has been the fuel to keep the fire in my soul burning and pushing onwards and upwards.
“I would just like to ask the public, family, and friends to continue showing that support in me by following my journey on social media @clubberclancy.
“This is only the beginning; Welcome to ClubberLand!”