‘The Fight Will End Early’ – Jamal Yusupov Confident He Can Knock Out Tawanchai PK.Saenchai
Jamal Yusupov has had his eyes set on the ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Title for years, and on Friday, February 24, he finally gets his chance to capture it.
“Yeniceri” will challenge Tawanchai PK.Saenchai for the gold at ONE Fight Night 7: Lineker vs. Andrade II on Prime Video, and although it’s taken a little longer than he anticipated, the Turkish knockout artist can’t wait for his big opportunity at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
The 39-year-old slugger was previously scheduled to compete for the World Title on a few occasions, but unfortunately, those plans were derailed. Still, he remained confident that his time would eventually come.
“I have been moving toward this goal for a long time. I have been anticipating this title fight and now, I am here.
“I was not worried [that I had missed the opportunity]. I knew I was the number one contender, as I did not see anyone else in the division who could fight for the belt other than me. However, this fight is certainly a big step for me, and it is a big responsibility.”
Yusupov burst onto the global stage with a shocking knockout win over Thai icon Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex in November 2019 and was slated to face Petchmorakot Petchyindee for the inaugural ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Title in February 2020.
Injury forced “Yeniceri” out of that bout, but he healed up and went on to defeat Samy Sana later in the year. Another World Championship showdown fell through in 2022, but the Turkey resident would secure a victory over “Smokin'” Jo Nattawut to remain flawless in ONE and push his career record to 54-9.
Throughout that turbulent period, Tawanchai burst onto the scene with a flurry of activity and four wins to take the featherweight belt. But with his status as the #2-ranked contender, Yusupov is not fazed by his younger foe’s blitz on the division.
“I would not say that Tawanchai’s recent activity would play any role in our fight. I am preparing for this fight very seriously. The training camp went well. I am ready both mentally and physically. I am focused on this fight 100 percent now.”
Jamal Yusupov Thinks His Boxing Will Be Key Against Tawanchai
Jamal Yusupov has a lot of respect for Tawanchai PK.Saenchai. In fact, he praises the Thai’s well-rounded skill set and unbreakable demeanor.
Even though he holds the ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Champion’s slick arsenal in high regard, the Turkish striker feels there is one strength in particular that could help him get past the divisional kingpin at ONE Fight Night 7 on February 24.
“He is a young, tough opponent. I can point out that he is quick on his feet, and he works very well with his legs.
“My advantage is my boxing. Even Tawanchai himself pointed it out. He said I have good boxing. I have always been saying that boxing is my advantage, and I will prove it.”
Yusupov’s resume backs up his claim that his hands are the biggest threat. The Turk scored a rare KO victory over Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex in his ONE debut, and he has the power to hurt anybody who stands across the ring from him.
So, while he is preparing for any eventuality, “Yeniceri’s” perfect scenario would be to let his punches fly and take Tawanchai out as soon as possible to claim the ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Title in style.
“I think the fight will end early. I am ready for five tough rounds, but I’ll try to win early by knockout.”