Roman Kryklia is recognized as one of the most cerebral kickboxers in the world, and he likes to keep his mental game sharp by reading almost every day.
Ahead of his ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Title defense against Murat Aygun in the co-main event of ONE: FULL CIRCLE on Friday, 25 February, the Ukrainian star explains how one of his favorite hobbies keeps his grey matter.
Kryklia is an avid reader, and he takes lessons from fact and fiction along the way.
The 30-year-old sensation said:
“Now, I am reading ‘A Short History of Nearly Everything’ by Bill Bryson. It is brilliant and touches on different subjects from geology and particle physics to Earth formation, the Big Bang, you name it. I love popular science books very much. Normally, I read two books at the same time – a fiction book and a pop science book. I always read books to the very end, even if it is difficult.”
Reading has been a lifelong habit for Kryklia. In fact, the 6-foot-6 striking beast didn’t look up to movie stars during his childhood, but rather the literary heroes he encountered in books.
The light heavyweight king cites ‘The Three Musketeers’ by Alexandre Dumas as one of his favorites because the characters showcase the courage he aspired to have as a kid.
Kryklia, who just finished his training camp with fellow ONE athlete Chingiz Allazov at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket, admittedly has less downtime to sit and read. However, the Minsk resident found another way to get his literary fix.
“When I am in Thailand for my fight camp, I have less time to read books, but I got into the habit of listening to audio books. It is nice to walk around and just listen to them. It’s very convenient.”
Can Murat Aygun Stop Roman Kryklia?
World Title challenger Murat Aygun was supposed to face Roman Kryklia for some time now. However, COVID-19 health and safety protocols have sidelined their colossal clash several times, meaning that both men are more eager than ever to square off inside the Circle.
“The Butcher” made it clear that he felt Kryklia was overlooking him ahead of their scheduled bout at ONE: HEAVY HITTERS last month. Lately, though, Aygun has taken a philosophical approach as he awaits his chance to fight for gold on the global stage.
Posting on Instagram, Aygun said:
“The greatest power is often simple patience!”
This World Title tilt is seen by many as a battle between brains and brawn, with the Ukrainian’s hit-and-move style up against Aygun’s pressure.
The Dutch-Turkish slugger showed that he can maintain a high pace and intensity in his ONE Super Series debut against Anderson “Braddock” Silva, and he’ll try to impress that on Kryklia when he challenges for the belt on Friday.
As Aygun previously said:
“If he thinks that it will be easy work, that is nonsense, of course. I’ll show him what easy work is when I go up against him in the Circle. He’s a good kickboxer, he’s tall, and he’s already been the ONE World Champion [in two bouts], so he’s a good fighter, but that’s going to come to an end. The one that will win this fight will be the one who puts the most heart into it, and that will be me. I always give it my all.”