Joseph “The Hurricane” Lasiri has entertained the masses in four exciting ONE Super Series match-ups, and he promises to deliver another thrilling contest when he returns to action on Sunday, 31 March.
The Italian meets hometown favorite Hiroki Akimoto in a flyweight kickboxing bout at ONE: A NEW ERA in Tokyo, Japan, and he vows not take a backward step when he faces off against the WFKO Karate World Champion.
“My strength is my attacking game, and I will use this to beat him,” the 27-year-old Milan native states.
The Ryogoku Kokugikan will host the biggest event in ONE Championship’s history, which includes four electrifying World Title match-ups and a stacked undercard of Muay Thai, kickboxing, and mixed martial arts bouts.
Knowing the magnitude of this blockbuster card, Lasiri is even more determined to deliver a standout performance.
“It is a really exciting opportunity for me. I have never been to Tokyo before. There is a lot of interest in this show, and I am so grateful to be there,” he says.
“It is very important [for me to show my warrior spirit] because behind every fight, there is a lot of hard work.
“Every fight is an opportunity for me to show the commitment I have to this sport. I hope [the Japanese fans] will enjoy it.”
Lasiri – a WBC Muay Thai Super Bantamweight World Champion – has a challenging assignment in The Land Of The Rising Sun, however.
When he steps under the lights, he will do so in Akimoto’s homeland, where he will be roared on by thousands of passionate Japanese fans.
The karate stylist will also be well-prepared thanks to his training with some of the world’s best stand-up martial artists at the renowned Evolve gym in Singapore.
What’s more, the 26-year-old will be full of confidence after dazzling in his ONE Super Series debut. He dominated Australia’s Josh “Timebomb” Tonna to earn a unanimous decision and extend his perfect record to 20-0.
Akimoto’s incredible offensive effort impressed “The Hurricane,” but he spotted some areas where his upcoming rival seemed vulnerable.
“I have seen his debut against Josh Tonna, and it was an amazing fight,” Lasiri offers.
“He is a very good kickboxer. His strengths are the combinations. His weakness is fighting with the 4-ounce gloves.”
Lasiri, who made his promotional debut in January 2018, has much more experience competing in the 4-ounce mixed martial arts gloves.
Also, he has proven to be a durable athlete who constantly moves forward in his attack.
He displayed that in his previous two contests against Tonna and Jonathan Haggerty, as well as his fearless ability to compete against the sport’s elite.
The Italian believes in his own offense and by sharpening those same tools, he feels assured that he can be the first person to defeat – and finish – Akimoto.
“In order to get the win next, I will keep doing what I am doing,” he says. “In a perfect world, I would love to knock him out.”
By taking out such a well-respected name in Tokyo, Lasiri could launch himself toward his ultimate dream.
“[A win] will be a huge achievement for my career, and also help me build my confidence with ONE,” he adds.
“I would love to compete against the best fighters in the world. ONE is a great opportunity for me to do this. Winning over Akimoto will certainly put me one step closer to that goal.”
Tokyo | 31 March | 3:30PM | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/oneera19