If you are left seeing doubles after tomorrow’s ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix semifinals in the Impact Arena, fear not, because it is just what “The Doctor” ordered.
Or at least that is what Giorgio Petrosyan wants.
On Friday, 16 August, Petrosyan faces old rival “Smokin” Jo Nattawut at ONE: DREAMS OF GOLD in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Italian-Armenian’s return to the ring will mark the third time he has laced up the gloves in four months, and Petrosyan is determined to get a decisive win.
Twice he had to go through Thai hero Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy, after their first contest at ONE: ENTER THE DRAGON in May was ruled a no-contest.
Winning the rematch in July sealed his trip to Bangkok for the World Grand Prix semifinals, and although it took longer than he expected, Petrosyan is looking forward to his clash with Nattawut.
The last time these two men met at ONE: HEROES OF HONOR in April 2018, “The Doctor” made his ONE Super Series debut a night to remember.
Over the course of three rounds, he proved too fast, too elusive, and too accurate for his Thai opponent, and cinched a unanimous decision win over Nattawut.
This time around, things are slightly different leading up to their second showdown.
Considering his last competitive outing in May at ONE: ENTER THE DRAGON ended with a stunning KO win over Sasha Moisa, Nattawut will sport a fresher set of legs heading into tomorrow’s contest.
“I remember his leg work being very powerful. He is an all-around opponent, who is good at throwing punches, kicks, and knees, so I will need to be very alert to all of that,” Petrosyan admitted.
“Smokin” is not short on confidence either and has the added momentum of a four-match win streak dating back to July 2018.
Nonetheless, Petrosyan is sure he will book his place in the World Grand Prix final at ONE: CENTURY in Tokyo, Japan.
“I know my opponent all too well, as I defeated him the first time around,” Petrosyan said. “Following our bout, he has clearly gotten better because [he has won] four more bouts. Then again, I don’t think he has gotten that much better in a year and a half.”
Despite winning his rematch against Petchmorakot, the Thai’s earlier performances had made Petrosyan’s legend appear mortal for a long time. Now, questions hang over the Italian’s ability to repeat his heroics against Nattawut.
Every bit the crafty tactician inside the ring, Petrosyan stands his ground against any claims that Nattawut could pose a major threat to him.
“The Doctor” cites a refined game plan and lessons from an autopsy of both his matches against Petchmorakot, as proof that he can and will make the necessary adjustments to get the win.
“I changed my game plan [against Petchmorakot], and I was less aggressive. I played more of a waiting game, my legs did much of the work, and that’s how I won the bout,” Petrosyan explained.
“Of course, when a rematch is coming up, I suppose my opponent will be mixing up his own game plan. My strategy will be different, and we will see in the ring what [Nattawut] is capable of.”
With each man looking to get the leg up over the other once the opening bell sounds, “The Doctor” knows he needs to expect the unexpected in order to pull off a repeat victory.
“He is a very powerful opponent, and he is quick with his legs. I am also powerful, so I am not sure which of us is the most powerful,” Petrosyan said. “We are going to find out in the ring.”
Want to catch the latest action from ONE Championship? Watch ONE: DREAMS OF GOLD on Friday, 16 August on Toggle at 9:30pm Singapore Standard Time.
At 10:00pm SGT, Channel 5 will cut into the live broadcast, just in time for the co-main event and main event.
To see the prelims, log onto ONE’s Facebook and Twitter pages at 6:00pm SGT.
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