Superlek Praises Takeru But Is ‘Not Intimidated’ Ahead Of World Title Showdown In Tokyo
Reigning ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion “The Kicking Machine” Superlek Kiatmoo9 knows he’s in for perhaps the stiffest test of his career when defends his gold against Japanese megastar Takeru “The Natural Born Crusher” Segawa in the main event of ONE 165.
That blockbuster World Title clash will go down on January 28 on pay-per-view in the challenger’s native Japan at Tokyo’s Ariake Arena.
For his part, Superlek won’t downplay just how difficult it will be to defeat Takeru in enemy territory.
The Thai titleholder told onefc.com:
“If I beat him in Japan, it’s going to be awesome. But to fight in Japan is not easy. Beating him is even less easy.”
Indeed, the 32-year-old promotional newcomer is a historic three-division K-1 World Champion who is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished kickboxers in history.
After years of watching Takeru from afar, Superlek is nothing less than impressed by his dynamic and explosive style of striking.
He says “The Natural Born Crusher” possesses a unique set of skills – along with blazing speed and prodigious athleticism – that present a dangerous puzzle to solve:
“His fighting style has karate and punches combined, like a scary melting pot. He’s good in his own way. Plus, he is durable.”
If “The Kicking Machine” intends to retain his flyweight kickboxing crown and keep his eight-fight winning streak alive, he knows he must approach Takeru with extreme caution and a nuanced game plan.
When asked about the Japanese fighter’s many world-renowned weapons, Superlek pinpointed Takeru’s elite boxing as the area he must prepare for the most:
“What I need to be extra careful of against Takeru are his punches. He strikes so well in combination, too.
“I can’t be careless because he’s great with lots of experience. I can’t just be reckless, especially fighting a fighter at this level. Reckless isn’t even in the dictionary.”
Superlek Breaks Down Path To Victory Against Takeru
Even though Superlek Kiatmoo9 might be quick to sing the praises of Takeru Segawa, he is an incredibly accomplished competitor in his own right.
A veteran of more than 150 professional bouts – including a trio of World Title battles in ONE Championship – the 28-year-old will enter this contest following a spectacular victory over fellow Thai superstar Rodtang Jitmuangon in ONE’s best Muay Thai fight of 2023.
Given that mountain of world-class experience, Superlek isn’t afraid of his highly touted opponent:
“For Takeru, I’m not intimidated by him. There are things I just need to be careful of. There’s nothing to be scared of because I don’t get scared in the ring.”
While his foe might be fleeter of foot and have faster hand speed, the defending titleholder thinks his own trademark kicking power will make the difference in this massive showdown.
With that in mind, Superlek explained how he plans to get the job done and leave Tokyo with his World Title:
“[Takeru] and I have different styles. I’m slower but I have heavy weapons to save me.
“My stronger points would be my more powerful kicks. My kicks are powerful and can be effective against anyone. So, I could kick his legs to stop him from moving or slow him down.”