This Friday, 8 November, one of the most experienced and successful Muay Thai competitors in the world today will face one the sport’s most explosive knockout artists in a bantamweight contest that could have serious implications for the top of the division.
In the blue corner, Kongsak will come into this match-up at the Mall Of Asia Arena with three Lumpinee Stadium World Titles on his résumé, as well as an incredible 183 wins to his name.
His latest victory came against powerful Russian finisher Alaverdi “Babyface Killer” Ramazanov in February, in a three-round encounter that saw the Thai superstar use his famous left kick to win on the scorecards.
Despite the result, the 28-year-old from Bangkok was not completely satisfied with his performance, but he expects to deliver an even better display in Manila, Philippines.
“This fight I am feeling better having competed with ONE already, and I am always taking care of my health and keeping active at the gym,” he says.
“Usually when I haven’t fought in a while, I feel a bit sluggish, but it doesn’t matter [for this bout] – I’ll be bringing my best. I’m really starting to really feel great. I’m training hard every day at the gym.”
Han will stand on the opposite side of the Circle having competed more recently. He scored a stunning, second-round knockout of Andrew Miller in June, but despite the result, the Top King Muay Thai World Champion from China was also not completely satisfied with the way he competed.
As a result, he has made some adjustments in training to shore up his defenses because he has a great deal of respect for his rival’s skills.
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“I am not very satisfied with my performance in Shanghai as I got cut on my eyebrows, so I did lots of training for my defense this time,” says the 24-year-old.
“He is a top Thai athlete with rich experience, and very well known in Thailand. His strengths are very obvious – his style is tough and he pushes forward with precise striking.“
With that said, the Zhoukou native believes he has the edge in a few areas, and that will help him to get a record-setting fourth finish in ONE Super Series
“I think his weakness is speed – he is a little slow for me,” Han adds.
“My advantage is my body – my height and reach – and also my striking. My game plan is to control the match by footwork and distance, and also pay attention to his left hand and left leg kick. I want to KO him.”
In contrast, Kongsak does not feel like he has much to worry about at all, and sees a route to victory that plays to his strengths.
His powerful shots have worn down some of the top competitors on the Thai circuit – including ONE stars Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy, Nong-O Gaiyanghadao, and Singtongnoi Por Telakun – and he hopes to make his countrymen proud by doing the same to Han on the global stage.
“I feel his body won’t be as hardened or conditioned as the opponents I face in Thailand,” he says.
“I don’t feel he has any major strengths. I really think that I can win this, but how, I don’t know. It will just have to wait until I get in there.
“I hope that people from all over Thailand can come together and cheer me on. I’ll be bringing my very best for everyone watching!”