The rematch takes place at ONE: A NEW TOMORROW in Bangkok, Thailand, this Friday, 10 January, when “The Iron Man” will aim to maintain his grip on the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title he won in August.
That victory came via a razor-close decision after both athletes enjoyed spells of success in a thrilling clash of styles. In the end, it was Rodtang’s heavy hands at close range that made the difference, but there will plenty of other weapons the second time around that could decide who goes home with the belt.
These are four key tools that could help decide this long-awaited match-up.
#1 Haggerty’s Distance Management
“The General” has shown he can win rounds against Rodtang by using his reach advantage to keep him on the outside with jabs and teeps.
“The Iron Man” needs to get on the inside to do his best work, but Haggerty’s long limbs and sharp, straight strikes give him the perfect tools to disrupt his forward charge. Stiff shots through the middle can also set up dangerous follow-up attacks including his straight right hand, and high kicks.
The last time these men met, the Englishman drifted away from this game plan when he was drawn into a firefight, but if he can keep his discipline, he will give himself a great chance of gaining redemption.
#2 Rodtang’s Right Low Kick
Rodtang’s punishing right low kick will be a critical tool as he tries to break down the Brit. Even when he struggled to get inside “The General’s” reach in the early rounds of the first encounter, he still landed it consistently from the outside.
“The Iron Man” had particular success when he used it as a counter to the teep. He waited for Haggerty to retract his strike, and then slammed his shin into the thigh before the Brit could check or move out of range.
Accumulation of damage from blows to the leg could limit the challenger’s mobility as the match heads into the later rounds, which would force him into a more up-close, toe-to-toe contest. That is exactly what the Thai slugger wants.
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#3 “The General’s” Chopping Elbows
Rodtang will be confident about his ability to hurt Haggerty because of his fourth-round knockdown when they met in Manila, Philippines, but he cannot get complacent when he moves forward. The Knowlesy Academy representative could use his opponent’s eagerness against him to land his crushing elbows.
When “The Iron Man” grows in confidence, he starts to commit to every strike as he backs his power – and chin – against his adversary’s.
“The General” only needs a small window of opportunity to land a chopping downward elbow through the middle, which could come as the Thai charges in with wide, looping hooks.
It would take supreme composure and phenomenal timing to land, but the man from London is capable of pulling it off, and he could end the contest in one fell swoop if he does.
#4 “The Iron Man’s” Body Blows
Rodtang really believes he has found “The General’s” kryptonite in the way he reacts to body shots, so he is sure to take aim with his hard left hook to the liver to try and claim victory.
The hard-hitting Bangkok resident used his hurtful liver punch to take the wind out of Haggerty’s sails in Manila. This also forced the Englishman to slow down just as “The Iron Man” was revving up.
The surging Thai warrior could try to earn a stoppage to the body, or make Haggerty lower his guard for protection, and open up his head for Rodtang’s power punches.