Superlek Vs. Takeru: 4 Keys To Flyweight Kickboxing World Title Victory At ONE 165
The pair will headline ONE 165 in Tokyo this Sunday, and the global fan base will witness two of this generation’s greatest strikers duke it out in their primes.
Although they are both longtime superstars, reigning king Superlek and debuting Japanese icon Takeru are worlds apart in style – which is perhaps the most intriguing element of this five-round showcase.
Here are four keys to victory that could decide this massive clash for gold inside the Ariake Arena on January 28.
#1 Superlek’s Tactical Push Kicks
The range of this fight could be the most crucial factor, and for things to stay in Superlek’s wheelhouse, he needs to keep his challenger farther away by utilizing push kicks (also known as teeps).
At a longer kicking distance, the Thai star will be much more comfortable offensively and defensively, so he must try to push Takeru back or intercept his forward charges.
His left teep is fast and accurate, and this will be his go-to strike when he needs to interrupt an incoming attack. His right teep is powerful and can drive his opponent backward while also accumulating damage and forcing a reaction.
The longer Superlek can keep Takeru off him, the more the latter will be forced to get inside by any means necessary – which could leave holes in his defense.
#2 Takeru’s Powerful Boxing
The reason Takeru wants to close the distance is to open up opportunities to land his concussive punches.
The 32-year-old is a huge puncher who has knocked out 25 opponents in 43 career wins, and he never stops looking for the finish at any point in a match.
With one-shot KO power in both hands, he only needs one chance to dramatically change the course of a fight, meaning Superlek needs to be defensively tight for five full rounds.
However, even if the single power shot doesn’t land, “The Natural Born Crusher” punches with a frenetic volume that will wear down the fittest of rivals.
So, whether it’s one devastating punch or the incessant pounding that leads to the end, Takeru’s boxing is his best ticket to World Title success.
#3 Superlek’s Iconic Right Kick
Superlek can also try to slow down Takeru by weakening him with his feared right kick.
The 28-year-old is known as “The Kicking Machine” due to the legendary strike, and every opponent must try to limit its impact.
Against a big puncher like Takeru, the defending king can whip his right round kick into the body when his rival opens up to throw, and he can also smash his shin into arms when his foe blocks.
This can have the double impact of making “The Natural Born Crusher” more conservative with his output while also diminishing his guard and ability to punch.
If Superlek can tame Takeru somewhat, he’ll have more openings to add his other strikes into the mix.
#4 Takeru’s Thudding Body Work
If there’s been any weakness in Superlek’s armor since joining ONE, it’s his conditioning when faced with an opponent who comes at him relentlessly in the later stages.
Takeru can take advantage of this by using his heavy body shots to lay the foundation for a surge in the championship rounds.
The former three-division K-1 World Champion fires heavy hooks to the body from both sides, but especially his left-handed liver shot.
He also has heavy stepping knees that can target the midsection and spinning back kicks that drive in at a frightening pace.
If a body assault can wear Superlek down, the challenger has the chance to go after his foe with his heavy hands and claim the belt.