‘The Biggest Stage In The World’ – Alex Roberts Plans To Seize The Moment In World Title Clash With Roman Kryklia
The Australian debutant will face Ukrainian superstar Roman Kryklia for the inaugural ONE Heavyweight Muay Thai World Title in U.S. primetime on December 8, and after the biggest win of his career, he feels confident about earning an even greater victory.
Roberts most recently claimed the prestigious WBC Heavyweight Muay Thai World Title in October, and that impressive performance earned him the chance to face Kryklia at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
Reaching the global stage of ONE Championship has long been his top priority, and the 34-year-old is eager to make a strong first impression.
He told onefc.com:
“It has always been my goal to get to ONE Championship. Quite a few years back, I put down on the whiteboard the steps to get here. The WBC belts were basically the stepping stones: the WBC State Title, the National, International, and then the World Title. And then after that was ONE Championship.
“Now that we’re here, it’s fantastic. I look forward to putting on a show for the crowd because I’m an entertainer, and I love getting out there and having amazing fights that people will remember forever.”
Roberts had his path mapped out, but he couldn’t have imagined his current situation.
“The Viking” will compete for World Championship gold in his promotional debut, going up against the seemingly unstoppable Kryklia, who’s dominated ONE’s heavyweight and light heavyweight kickboxing divisions.
Taking part isn’t enough, however. The Perth native is thankful for the opportunity, but he wants to leave Bangkok with the Muay Thai strap over his shoulder:
“It’s a dream come true to come straight into ONE in a main event slot and fight at Lumpinee, the Mecca of Thai boxing. I feel so privileged and grateful for the opportunity.
“This is as high as it gets. This is the biggest stage in the world. The most eyes you’ll ever get on you. And the biggest opportunity.
“Especially the chance to be the inaugural World Champion in such a prestigious organization like ONE. This is something that I want to do, not just for myself, but for my team, my country, and to make everyone around me proud.”
‘One For The Ages’ – Roberts Predicts Epic Fight Against Kryklia
As the ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Champion and the ONE Heavyweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix Champion, Roman Kryklia has been the most dominant striker in the organization’s heavier weight classes.
He’s posted a 5-0 record with four knockouts in ONE, looking head and shoulders above his challengers. But anyone can be beaten – especially in the heavyweight Muay Thai division with 4-ounce gloves – and Roberts sees a route to victory against the 6-foot-7 Ukrainian.
It won’t be easy, but “The Viking” is willing to meet Kryklia’s power head-on and look to find openings:
“Kryklia is a fantastic champion. He’s an exciting, aggressive fighter. He likes to go out there and bang and hunt the finish. So, I’m going to get out there and meet him in the middle.
“He is very explosive. He comes in and throws big combos. You’ve just got to really watch for that explosion. You need to be constantly moving so you don’t get hit, especially with those little gloves because it doesn’t take much.
“The aggression is a positive, but it also definitely can be a negative because he comes in swinging. So, a lot of times, if you’re swinging a little bit loopy, you can leave yourself exposed. I’ve fought some taller guys before. I’m used to that long range. I’m just going to play the range to start with, get a feel for it, and then once I’ve got the eyes in, I will go for it.”
Roberts isn’t naive enough to think he can guarantee a victory over a dominant World Champion of Kryklia’s caliber, but there are certain guarantees he can make.
The first is that he’ll leave everything in the ring, and the second is that the ensuing battle will feature nonstop action – for as long as it lasts, that is.
The Australian added:
“I think we’re both going to be looking for the finish. I think it’s going to be a fantastic fight, and I don’t anticipate it to go the five rounds.
“It’s going to be two heavyweights absolutely cracking at 100 percent. We’re going to go in there to get a finish in an amazing fight. It’s going to be one for the ages.”