‘Keep In Mind Who They’re Fighting’ – Thai Legend Nong-O Advises Haggerty And All Future Challengers To Tread Lightly
The Thai icon defends his ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Title against “The General” in the main event of ONE Fight Night 9 on Prime Video on Friday, April 21, and he is quick to credit the skill set his latest challenger brings to the table.
Nong-O knows that Haggerty will come armed with some potent weapons for their clash at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand. In fact, he even praised the Brit for his eye-catching style. But he sees himself as a cut above the former ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion.
“Knowing I’m fighting Jonathan Haggerty makes me excited. He was the flyweight champion and he has beaten many other great boxers.
“Haggerty has studied Muay Thai since he was a kid, and he has been great since then. I’ve followed him. His Muay Thai is awesome. He has got all of the techniques like kicking, punching, and elbow striking. He is wonderful. His strikes are beautiful.
“He is a really good boxer in my view, but he is not a problem for me.”
The fact that Haggerty has a varied skill set gives Nong-O plenty of motivation for the upcoming encounter, but he plans to stay a step ahead when they duke it out for the Thai superstar’s bantamweight gold.
While Haggerty has defeated the likes of now-ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Champion Joseph Lasiri, former two-sport striking ace Sam-A Gaiyanghadao, and top-five ranked Taiki Naito, Nong-O is confident that he has the tools to deal with the latest contender to his throne.
The current king explained:
“My plan is to approach him aggressively and hurt him by striking with hard, heavy, and precise weapons such as leg kicks, punches, and body punches.
“I’ll need to use all of my Muay Thai weapons to make Haggerty exhausted – mentally too – and give up.”
Nong-O Feels In His Prime Ahead Of Huge ONE Fight Night 9 Clash
At 36, Nong-O Hama is an elder statesman in the Muay Thai world, but his 10-0 record in ONE Championship proves that he is still at the top of his game.
Jonathan Haggerty will come in 10 years his junior, and the Evolve MMA athlete wants to use his latest bout against a younger challenger to show that age is just a number when you’re dedicated to your craft.
“I’d like to send a message to the younger generation of boxers who want to get my World Championship. I’d like to tell them to keep in mind who they’re fighting against.
“I’ll make the world know that a man at my age still has the drive to defend this belt. I’m sure of that. The new generation of boxers are not at all a problem for me.
“I’m in my prime right now.”
With eight ONE World Title victories and a five-fight KO streak, it’s hard to argue against a fighter with such longevity and continued success on the global stage.
Nong-O is still as hungry as ever, and he’s sure the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Title will stay around his waist until he decides to hang up his gloves.
But, for now, his only concern is keeping his streak going and adding another incredible victory to his resume.
“In the five previous fights, I won by KO. And in the upcoming one, I am determined to get a bonus from Chatri [Sityodtong, ONE Chairman and CEO].
“I will knock Jonathan Haggerty out, and I will do my best for my Thai fans. I will keep this belt among Thai people in Thailand.
“No one can take it away from me. I’m not going to lose this World Championship until I retire.”