‘He’s A Great Champion’ – Jonathan Di Bella Praises Prajanchai Ahead Of Monumental World Title Defense

Jonathan Di Bella Danial Williams ONE Fight Night 15 84

Reigning ONE Strawweight Kickboxing World Champion Jonathan Di Bella is prepared for an all-out war in enemy territory when he takes on Thai icon Prajanchai PK Saenchai at ONE Friday Fights 58: Superbon vs. Grigorian II in Bangkok.

On April 5 in Asia primetime, the undefeated Italian-Canadian phenom will defend his gold in front of a raucous Thai crowd at the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium.

That showdown will mark Di Bella’s second defense of his strawweight kickboxing crown – and likely the toughest fight of his career.

His opponent, Prajanchai, is the current ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Champion, boasts well over 300 career victories, and most recently scored a devastating first-round knockout of former strawweight Muay Thai titleholder Joseph Lasiri.

Di Bella told onefc.com that he’s well aware of his upcoming foe’s many accolades:

“I’ve been watching [Prajanchai] for a long time. Obviously, he’s a great champion. He’s one of the best strikers to ever compete at the highest level and has won all over Thailand and Lumpinee and all the other stadiums. I’ve been watching him for a very long time, and I’ve always had my eye on him.”

Even though he’s unbeaten as a professional – including two ONE World Title wins – and widely regarded as one of kickboxing’s top talents, the Montreal native knows that defeating a renowned striker like Prajanchai would elevate his career to even greater heights.

Di Bella said of the high-stakes battle:

“Beating a name like him, it means a lot. It means a lot for me. And it means a lot for all the viewers because if I beat another champion, it’s very important for my name and my recognition.”

The 27-year-old is wise enough to never take any opponent lightly, but he’s putting in extra work to prepare for Prajanchai.

With his father – a former two-time Kickboxing World Champion – in charge of his training camp, the Team Di Bella Kickboxing representative is gearing up for a monumental test:

“I’m just getting ready for the best version of him and one of the best fighters that I’ve ever faced in front of me. I’m getting ready for war.

“I’ve been going through a rough training camp that my dad’s been putting me through. I’m just going through it all, giving my all, and I’ll be 100 percent ready for his fight. So yeah, can’t wait.”

Di Bella Says It’s ‘More Fun’ To Compete In Enemy Territory

Beyond Prajanchai’s deep resume and elite striking skills, he will have the support of the vocal Thai fans on April 5.

But while Jonathan Di Bella will be venturing into enemy territory to face one of Thailand’s most beloved heroes, he says it’s an honor to be competing at the “Madison Square Garden of the East”:

“I’ve been dreaming about fighting in Thailand since I was a kid. I’ve always wanted to fight in Lumpinee. Not many people could even say they fought at Lumpinee or in Thailand in general. So to fight on the biggest events, one of the biggest events of the year, it’s an honor, for sure.”

Of course, this won’t be Di Bella’s first time stepping into the famed Lumpinee ring.

He most recently outclassed former WMC Muay Thai World Champion “Mini T” Danial Williams to successfully defend his ONE Strawweight Kickboxing World Title, earning the much-deserved respect of the Bangkok faithful.

Still, some athletes might be nervous about fighting one of Thailand’s best in Thailand. But not Di Bella, who says that putting on an electrifying performance against the hometown star would earn him even more respect.

He added:

“It was a cool crowd I fought in front of last time. I know every time he’ll punch or kick, the crowd’s going to be screaming, and yeah, it’s like I’m in hostile territory. I like it, actually, no pressure.

“I feel like it’s more fun. I like going in their hometown and competing and getting more fans because I like to give an exciting fight, and especially giving an exciting fight with one of their own, with their own countryman.

“I know this is his home, so I know it means a lot to him. It makes me even more excited to win.”

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