‘Enjoy It While You Can’ – Danial Williams Targets New Strawweight Muay Thai King Joseph Lasiri
Like most fans and pundits, Danial Williams was both surprised and impressed by the showdown between Joseph Lasiri and Prajanchai PK.Saenchai at ONE 157 on Friday.
Lasiri scored a TKO victory to dethrone Prajanchai and claim the ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Title, capping off one of the great Cinderella stories in ONE history.
It was a dramatic upset against one of the top pound-for-pound strikers in the sport, as the Italian underdog battered Prajanchai and forced him to quit on his stool following the third round.
For his part, Williams expected the defending king to retain his belt, but he’s giving “The Hurricane” plenty of credit for the sensational performance.
“Mini T” said:
“It definitely shocked me. One thing I didn’t think about [Prajanchai] the last time is that he hasn’t really fought foreign Muay Thai fighters before. He’s always met the Thai-styled fighters, more used to those big gloves, and Lasiri just capitalized on that. He fought him just how I envisioned fighting him, with the forward pressure, using a bit of boxing skills, mixing up the shots.
“Prajanchai is very defensive, but you can’t always defend those huge shots with 4-ounce gloves. I think that caught Prajanchai off-guard and really put him off his game. Lasiri showed tremendous heart and desire to win. Hats off to him. What a wonderful story, and congrats on being the new champ.”
Williams also can’t help but respect Lasiri’s improbable rise to the top of the Muay Thai world.
“The Hurricane” hit a four-fight skid when he entered ONE Championship, but after dropping down to strawweight, he rocketed up the rankings with back-to-back wins.
He then expressed plenty of confidence heading into Friday’s World Title challenge of Prajanchai – and Williams took notice.
The Australian said:
“[I admire Lasiri’s] determination for having those four losses and staying at it. That’s what impressed me the most.
“He proved that no matter how many losses you have got on your record, if you just want to chase your dream, all those defeats don’t matter. He said he wanted to get into Prajanchai’s face and break him mentally, and he did exactly that.”
Danial Williams Wants To Challenge Joseph Lasiri For World Title
Danial Williams wasn’t just in awe of Joseph Lasiri’s performance at ONE 157 – he was inspired by it. Now, he’s more motivated than ever to return to Muay Thai and take his own shot at the gold.
“Mini T” has picked up two straight wins since transitioning to mixed martial arts, but he first debuted in ONE with an epic 2021 ONE Super Series Fight of the Year against Muay Thai megastar Rodtang Jitmuangnon.
The Australian always planned to continue his career in the stand-up discipline, and Lasiri is squarely in his crosshairs.
Both strikers are renowned for their all-action styles, granite chins, and fierce punching. For these reasons, Williams believes they would put on a show-stopping contest that is worthy of the strawweight Muay Thai crown.
“Before [Friday’s World Title] fight, I thought I’d have that perfect [top contender] fight with Lasiri before I fight Prajanchai for the belt. But boy, I was wrong about that.
“I feel I should be his next match. I’ve always accepted a challenge – I fought Rodtang on really short notice. I know Joseph will want to defend his title, and that’s what I’m mentally chasing right now.
“I know it will be a wicked fight. Similar style, similar build, similar forward pressure – it will be a Fight Of The Year contender.
Although he respects the newly crowned World Champion, “Mini T” also thinks he possesses the tools to claim the belt if they go toe-to-toe inside the Circle.
In fact, he feels ready for that World Title shot right now, and he signed off with a warning for the new strawweight Muay Thai king.
“I’ve seen pretty much all of [Lasiri’s] fights, and I still think he’s quite predictable. I don’t think that he has anything that comes off as a shock to me. His constant forward pressure and ability to take one or two [shots] is like his superpower, but I think my game will be a little bit too tricky for him, a little bit too different in terms of movement and technique.
“Congratulations and all the respect to the new champ. Enjoy it while you can because I’m coming for you, and I won’t be taking a step back.”