“The Million Dollar Baby” Sangmanee Sathian MuayThai’s powerful kicks and knees were enough to earn a closely-contested victory over Azize “The Magician” Hlali in his ONE Super Series debut.
The Thai star grew into the 68-kilogram catch-weight Muay Thai contest and brought his experience to bear on the French-Moroccan to claim a unanimous decision win at ONE: MASTERS OF FATE in Manila, Philippines, on Friday, 8 November.
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Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, November 8, 2019
Hlali started fast and had a promising opening frame inside the Mall Of Asia Arena, as he caught “The Million Dollar Baby’s” left kick and dumped him to the canvas on several occasions.
The Bordeaux native’s speed and diverse attacks gave him an early edge, and he used his push kicks to ward off the seven-time Muay Thai World Champion’s aggression.
However, Sangmanee came out for round two on the front foot and countered Hlali’s strikes with powerful left kicks and punches. He hurt “The Magician” with hard low kicks, and then went after his rival’s right leg with knees in the clinch.
It was all to play for in the final stanza, but the 22-year-old from Bangkok was in the ascendency, and Hlali could not stop his momentum. He tried to slow him down with teeps, but Sangmanee walked forward undeterred to land his left kick.
The Frenchman pulled spinning kicks out of his bag of tricks in search of a dramatic finish, but he could not catch “The Million Dollar Baby,” who worked in the clinch with hard knees to the body to wear his rival down as the contest came to a close.
With all three rounds in the bag, the judges all awarded the decision to Sangmanee, who showed his world-class Muay Thai to push his record to 181-26-5.