‘I Won’t Treat Him Like A Young Fighter’ – Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat Ready For War Against Teen Phenom Johan Ghazali

Denis Puric Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat ONE Fight Night 17 48

“No.1” Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat does not plan on being a stepping stone for burgeoning star Johan “Jojo” Ghazali

The Vietnamese veteran will face the 17-year-old phenom at ONE 167 on Prime Video in U.S. primetime on June 7, and he plans to test Ghazali like never before.

Given Ghazali’s blistering ONE run – featuring five straight wins with four knockouts – “No.1” is the first to admit that his Malaysian-American foe deserves all the recognition he has received. 

The 35-year-old shared his thoughts on “Jojo” ahead of their flyweight Muay Thai showdown at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand: 

“Johan Ghazali is a young one that is absolutely on the rise. He is strong, fast, and athletic, probably a great combination from his Malay and Westerner parents. His knockout power is no joke, either. In comparison, I’m not as athletic as he is. A fight with him is not going to be easy. 

“Johan started training and fighting when he was just a boy, so even with the age difference, I won’t treat him like a young fighter with little experience.” 

The praise has come thick and fast for Ghazali, with many likening him to longtime ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon.  

Again, Duy Nhat cannot deny the admiration that is being heaped on the teenager, and he even sees shades of his younger self in “Jojo.” 

With that in mind, “No.1” said he expects a fierce battle with the relentless Rentap Muay Thai representative: 

“Yes, Johan’s style is quite similar to Rodtang. Both have nice striking skills, knockout power, the same aggressiveness, and a crazy ability to absorb damage. I can see why people are comparing them. 

“He is no doubt a talented fighter. I do believe one day, he will rise to the same height as Rodtang. 

“Johan is brave, aggressive, and puts a lot of pressure on his opponents. It reminds me of how I had fought in my younger years as a fighter.” 

Duy Nhat Plans Change Of Tactics Against ‘Jojo’

Despite seeing Johan Gahazali as a future superstar in the division, Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat believes there is a route to victory at ONE 167.

It won’t come without risk, but Duy Nhat’s experience and composure will be an asset as he tries to find openings in the heavy attacks of his younger rival. 

The Vietnamese striker offered: 

“He has the mind of a relentless brawler. He launches himself into the fray and fights with all the fire in his soul. He punches with 100 percent power, which makes him quite a scary opponent when engaging in a battle. 

“But his strengths are also his weaknesses. Putting too much power on each and every strike is not always wise.  

“I’m curious to see how he will act if his striking combos get countered or aren’t as damaging as he wanted, and what he will do if he doesn’t get the upper hand in exchanging strikes. I will test those in the fight.” 

Coming off a tough defeat to #2-ranked flyweight Muay Thai contender Denis “The Bosnian Menace” Puric last December, Duy Nhat learned some lessons from a similarly intense opponent that he plans to utilize this time around.

Specifically, “No.1” thinks that meeting Ghazali in the middle and making him think twice about his all-out offense will be crucial in his search for the win. 

Accepting it’s a high-risk, high-reward strategy, Duy Nhat added: 

“I’m going to have a better, faster starting pace. The fight with Puric gave me a big lesson that sometimes I should be more of a brawler. 

“I’m going to start the fight more aggressively, exchanging punches, and make him deal with my elbows if he is coming in close.  

“Johan will probably start the fight at a really fast pace, so I believe there will be a knockout win for one of us.” 

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