As the greatest kickboxer of all time, Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan could be satisfied with his achievements, but ONE Super Series gold has fueled his hunger for further success.
The Armenian-Italian legend won the first ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix back in 2019 and now, he will face Superbon for the inaugural ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Championship at ONE: FIRST STRIKE on Friday, 15 October.
It’s the moment he has been anticipating since he first signed with the world’s largest martial arts organization three and a half years ago.
“I am truly thrilled for this match. I can’t wait for the opportunity to fight for another World Title, and I can’t wait for fight day to come,” Petrosyan says.
In the meantime, his upcoming opponent, Superbon, announced himself on the global stage by defeating surging superstar Sitthichai “Killer Kid” Sitsongpeenong in their trilogy bout at ONE: NO SURRENDER in July 2020.
That win earned the Thai standout the #2 spot in the featherweight kickboxing rankings and teed up the World Title contest with Petrosyan.
However, Superbon was gunning for it sooner and even suggested that “The Doctor” was ducking him after he refused the first offer to fight. Petrosyan strongly refutes this accusation, and it was enough to get a reaction from the usually stoic Milan resident.
“He is saying a lot of [nonsense] right now. I do not need anyone to protect me,” the Armenian-Italian icon states.
“Every fighter out there wants to fight against me. And, of course, if they receive short notice of 20 days, they want to fight because they have nothing to lose.
“With less than a month’s notice, they offered me Superbon [the first time]. That’s why I rejected the offer, only because of bad timing. If I was afraid of him, I wouldn’t have accepted this fight.”
Moving forward, Petrosyan will not get dragged into any war of words. In fact, he plans on letting his actions speak louder than his words.
“It doesn’t bother me at all. I don’t care, and I let them run their mouths and speak as much as they want. Everyone knows that inside the ring, there’s no need to talk,” he adds.
Aside from the Thai’s loose lips, “The Doctor” has a lot of respect for his upcoming rival. He knows that he will be in for a hard night against a skilled and experienced foe.
“He is a super tough opponent. Everyone knows that he is very good with his legs. His technique is amazing. He has really good timing and is a well-rounded athlete,” Petrosyan says.
“I just need to keep the focus on what I have to do. I think my boxing skills are better. But if you don’t show it inside the ring, it doesn’t mean anything. Let’s see.”
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And if the 35-year-old icon does manage to get past Superbon, then there will be no shortage of fresh adversaries awaiting their shot.
On the same night as their highly anticipated match, the second ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix gets underway – with eight of the greatest strikers on the planet duking it out.
Petrosyan will be watching because of the incredible lineup of elite athletes who will be competing in the quarterfinal matchups, but he doesn’t want to look any further ahead than Superbon.
“It is an extremely tough tournament. I know all the fighters involved. Right now, honestly, I cannot predict who is going to win, but, for sure, the best will win at the end,” he says.
“ONE has signed all the best athletes in the 70-kilogram division. This is something that ignites me. But right now, I am only thinking about my next opponent. I am thinking about the World Title and about delivering a great performance.”
With the Thai technician waiting for him, Petrosyan has plenty on his plate without getting sidetracked by the eight-man field in the tournament.
For now, he’s happy to push the World Grand Prix to the back of his mind. In the meantime, he is solely focused on offering up the kind of masterclass fans have come to expect from “The Doctor.”
“When I step into the ring, I don’t joke around. I don’t need to put on a show. I only care about hitting hard and bringing home the belt,” Petrosyan says.
“I have no final message [for Superbon]. We will meet in the ring.”