EVEN though the judges at the end of the fight were unanimous in their decision that Seán Clancy had lost, the commentators were in no doubt about the incredible impact he had made.
“This has been an epic, this has been a war, this is one we will not soon forget. Welcome to ONE Super Series Seán ‘Clubber’ Clancy. No matter the result, you have won over the world,” they enthused.
Ultimately though, the objective for the Fermoy native was to defeat the talented Thai fighter Pongsiri in his ONE Championship debut recently.
But after recovering from a second-round knockdown to almost mount a comeback in the third a final round, Clancy showed courage in abundance - he needed 52 stitches afterwards - to win plenty of new admirers.
“I wasn’t happy after but that’s how it goes,” Clancy told the Echo.
“You live and learn, I just wish the fight had more rounds. We left it all in the ring so I’ll hold my head high but I’m still not happy without the win.
“I have more stitches for the collection as well, I’m over the 200 mark now on my face, you don’t play MuayThai!
“But it’s a real nice feeling to win over so many fans, it shows my hard work doesn’t go unnoticed so I’ll take that.
“Honestly, to share the ring with the best in the world and put on such a performance to capture the attention of people worldwide makes it worth all the pain and sacrifices.
“I am already working on what needs to be done at training to improve so that I can come back even stronger. My new goal is to make them all fear having to fight me!” His coach and friend from Cork, Martin Horgan, was also keen to praise his efforts and insists this is only the very beginning.
“Clancy’s debut…to be a main event headliner for ONE Championship was an amazing performance, once again he has stamped his name as one hardest working international fighters in MuayThai,” said Horgan.
“Facing an aggressive multiple Thai Champion, he fought fire with fire. Neither fighter was willing to give in, they stood toe to toe during the entire fight with shot after shot.
“His tenacity and heart saw him push for a win. This has excited everyone at ONE Championship, the commentators and social media pages loved his drive and his at all costs approach.
“There has been talk already of some huge fights again in the pipeline after this performance so everyone at Siam Warriors Cork, we are all delighted for Sean because he has worked hard for every opportunity.”