Amir Khan will attempt to finish a turbulent 2020 with a resounding victory in ONE Championship’s final event of the year.
Khan and South Korean standout “Crazy Dog” Dae Sung Park will clash at ONE: COLLISION COURSE II, a previously recorded show that airs this Friday, 25 December. It will be a chance for the Evolve athlete to build off his knockout of Rahul “The Kerala Krusher” Raju in October.
“I hadn’t gotten a KO in a while,” Khan says of that first-round win.
“It’s definitely a good feeling to get that killer instinct back. I knew I had it deep down within, I just had to get it back. Sometimes you know you have it, but you have to show it to yourself.”
Not only did Khan show the world why he’s one of the promotion’s leading knockout artists, but he also needed the win for more personal, urgent reasons.
At the start of 2020, the Singaporean dropped a submission loss to Kimihiro Eto. He then had to cope with an eight-month hiatus from competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And during that time, his father was diagnosed with brain cancer before passing away just last week.
The victory against Raju boosted Khan’s morale, and he’s now ready for a tough challenge against Park, who’s won all of his fights in both ONE Warrior Series and ONE Championship.
“It’s a good matchup. Me and my coach accepted the fight right away and created a game plan,” the 26-year-old Singaporean offers.
“[Park] overuses his energy in the first round, so we’re going to capitalize on that. We know we have to go through a storm in the first round because he comes in hot, and once we go through it, then we can take him out.
“He’s going to come out strong in the first round and then get a bit tired, a bit lethargic. But I’m not going to go for the kill. I’m just going to have fun, pick my shots, pick him apart, and stay loose. I’m going to keep on the offense, and I believe the knockout will come, but I will not look for it.”
It’s clear that Khan is well-aware of his rival’s devastating power. And indeed, the South Korean can sway any bout on a moment’s notice.
“He’s a very well-rounded fighter,” the Evolve product adds. “He has his strong points. He’s southpaw, so we’ve got to be careful of his left side attacks.”
It would be more accurate to say that Park carries grenades for left hands. He winged them at Eto to score a destructive second-round TKO over the Japanese athlete back in July 2019.
Of course, Khan likes to toss plenty of explosive strikes himself. His nine knockouts are tied with ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian “The Warrior” Lee for the most in ONE Championship history.
And in the event that Park makes a mistake, the Singaporean will be ready to capitalize.
“I’ve got to put the pressure on Park, put my strikes in place, and once he feels my attacks on the feet, I know he’ll try to shoot for a takedown – but we’ve prepared for that,” Khan says.
The Evolve standout wouldn’t reveal exactly what he has planned for Dae, but he did disclose the tactics that he believes will lead him to victory on Friday night.
“I got to be loose, stay composed, be sharp with my defense, and be first to attack. As long I keep to those simple principles, I’ll get the win – definitely,” Khan says.
Ultimately, this fight could kick-start a successful year for the Singaporean. A victory over the “Crazy Dog” would make a statement that he’s ready to put his tough year in the past and work toward the ultimate prize.
“Park has three wins in ONE Championship. He’s a good name. So if I get another good win, another dominant finish, that will set me up for going against one of the top contenders in 2021,” Khan says.
“Then after, maybe I can eventually fight for a belt. But one fight at a time. I’m just going to get through Park first, focus on him, and the rest will come later.
“I’m giving my full attention to Park because he’s equally as dangerous, and I don’t want to underestimate him.”