Jonathan Di Bella Details ‘Heartbreaking’ Loss Of World Title Belt Ahead Of Rescheduled Fight With Prajanchai

Jonathan Di Bella Danial Williams ONE Fight Night 15 73

After the devastation of losing his ONE Strawweight Kickboxing World Title at ONE Friday Fights 58 in April, Jonathan Di Bella is fired up to reclaim the divisional gold.  

The Italian-Canadian’s long-awaited clash with Prajanchai PK Saenchai will now headline ONE Friday Fights 68 on June 28, and he can’t wait to finally throw down with the reigning ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Champion.  

While battling an illness before their originally scheduled battle, Di Bella couldn’t pass his hydration test and ultimately had to spend the night in a hospital, which prevented him from competing at all.

Now back to full health and ready to square off with Prajanchai at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, the 27-year-old wants to set the record straight. 

Reflecting on the unfortunate situation, Di Bella said:  

“I went to do the faceoff because I was hoping that the fight was still going on. I was going to the hospital, and I thought maybe they could give me something to make me feel better. I remember facing off, and I was holding in my puke. I was about to throw up on him. I’m like, ‘Don’t throw up on him. This thing’s going viral if I puke!’

“So we went to the hospital, I threw up, they put me back on the bed, they put IVs in me, and I woke up in my hotel room the next day. I don’t remember what happened. I was still not feeling well. But then I started realizing I had lost my belt, and I couldn’t believe this had happened. As soon as I found out, it was heartbreaking.” 

No longer the defending World Champion as Prajanchai guns for two-sport gold, Di Bella is fueled by a renewed hunger.  

Despite still being unbeaten with a 12-0 professional kickboxing record, the Montreal native feels like the narrative has completely shifted – but the result feels even more important.  

Di Bella spoke about entering enemy territory against the Thai superstar:

“I have a champion’s mindset, but now I’m the underdog, so I feel even more focused. I want to win every fight, but especially now that I don’t have the belt anymore, I want to bring it back for my family. That’s my motivation. 

“Fighting in his hometown in front of his family, his people, I feel like it’s a Rocky vs. Drago type of story. I’m going in there with a Rocky mentality and getting my belt back.” 

Di Bella Views Prajanchai Matchup As A Battle Of Wits 

It’s never easy to face an opponent as skilled and experienced as Prajanchai PK Saenchai, and Jonathan Di Bella expects their styles to blend well for a fascinating battle on June 28. 

With both men known as cerebral strikers, there could be many changes in momentum, and Di Bella thinks this leaves all possibilities open for their meeting in Bangkok:

“I believe whoever uses their IQ and whoever is smarter will win the fight. Fans should expect a technical battle.  

“But then it could be technical or it could be a crazy war. It depends on how he comes out and how I come out. Who knows? But they should expect something cool and a very good fight.” 

Although it wasn’t by choice, Di Bella has had an extra two months to prepare for his showdown with Prajanchai. 

He’s used the time to hone the same tactics he was working on for their ill-fated April clash, and he feels confident about getting the job done. 

The former divisional king added: 

“The circumstances changed, but I was ready for him and very excited to compete against him in April. We just had to take some more time. We kept sharp when we came back to the gym, and that’s it. It was repetition of the things we were doing before for him.  

“I’ve just got to go in there and be ready for everything that he has. I can’t predict anything that will happen in the fight – I just predict a win for myself.” 

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