Jacob Smith Plans To KO Denis Puric Then Go After Rodtang’s Flyweight Muay Thai Gold

Jacob Smith Walter Goncalves ONE Fight Night 17 22

After earning the #2 spot in the flyweight Muay Thai rankings with his last win, Jacob Smith is gunning for the division’s top dogs.

The English striker’s next assignment comes against Denis “The Bosnian Menace” Puric at ONE Fight Night 21: Eersel vs. Nicolas on Prime Video, and he thinks another emphatic stoppage will push him toward his ultimate goal of the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title.

Smith put himself right in the mix when he defeated Walter Goncalves last December, stopping the Brazilian in the first round with a crunching knee to the body, and he’ll return to Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, buoyed by that career-best victory.

Reflecting on the win that boosted him up the ladder, the 31-year-old said:

“Once we started to move a little bit, I didn’t really feel any of his punches. So I kicked his leg really hard, and I know he didn’t like that so early on. I feel like that changed the fight because I saw his spirit leave his body after that. He looked at me as if he was saying, ‘Oh, this is going to be a long night.’

“I was expecting to finish him, but I didn’t expect to finish him in that way. I know it was a clean knee and I felt it sink right into him, but I expected him to get up. I suppose that’s just the way that you think as a fighter.”

Smith’s blitz of the former World Title contender Goncalves raised his stock immensely, and now there are only two men above him in the standings.

They are ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon and ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion “The Kicking Machine” Superlek Kiatmoo9.

The Birkenhead native has his sights on the two Thai icons, and he knows a convincing victory over Puric is his best chance of locking in a matchup against them.

Smith said:

“My goal is to be ONE Championship Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion, and fingers crossed by the end of the year that comes through.”

“Rodtang is the champion and Superlek is number one. After beating Walter, I’m now number two. Rodtang and Superlek are probably gonna fight each other again soon, then I should get the shot at the winner after I beat Puric.”

Jacob Smith Respects Denis Puric But Confident Of KO

Although Jacob Smith is confident, he’s not overlooking Denis Puric.

He knows “The Bosnian Menace” is a world-class opponent who brings serious firepower into every contest, so he has to be on top of his game to ensure victory on April 5.

Looking ahead to the battle, Smith said:

“I think he’s super dangerous. He’s just a fighter through and through. A real veteran and fair play to him. He is very strong, he punches hard. I expect him to come out swinging and looking to knock me out.

“However, I feel like the longer the fight goes, the more that favors me. I feel like I’ve got youth from my side. I’m a little bit bigger than him. I’m definitely going to be physically stronger than him.

“He’s wild, which I think plays into my hands, but I’ll hurt him with something when he’s swinging at me.”

Spurred on by his recent knockout of Walter Goncalves, Smith feels certain he’ll find a shot that will put his rival out.

It will be somewhat bittersweet for the Birkenhead native who is well acquainted with Puric, but “The Bosnian Menace” is the man in the way of his goals – and for that reason, he needs to go down.

Smith explained:

“Puric is a nice fella. I spent some time with him in the hotel when I fought Walter and he fought [Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat] on the same show. We had a little chat. We got on very well.

“But I’m sure I’m fighting him on his 39th birthday. So, unfortunately, my birthday present to him is gonna be me knocking him out.

“I’m either gonna stop him with the knee or stop him with an elbow. I feel like the first round is gonna be quite fiery. But if he decides to rush me too early, he’s gonna walk into some big shots, so I could just finish him in round one.”

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