Monday, June 14, 2021

Lito Adiwang On Kawahara Fight: ‘I Have To Prove Myself To The World And Earn People’s Respect’

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In 2020, Lito Adiwang experienced two losses.

The first came against Hiroba Minowa in November – the Filipino’s sole defeat in ONE Championship. The second, a more serious matter, came when his mother passed away just two days before 2021 began.

Lito Adiwang

Lito Adiwang will now look to bounce back in the Circle – and in life – when faces Namiki Kawahara at ONE: UNBREAKABLE at the Singapore Indoor Stadium this Friday, 22 January.

I really wanted this. I am very hungry to come back and get a win,” Lito Adiwang said.

At least if I win this one, maybe I can ask for a rematch from Minowa.”

The split decision loss to Minowa came after a grueling three-round thriller at ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX III. Adiwang appeared to be dominating that fight in the early stages before gassing out.

I have to prove that I only had an off-night against Minowa,” the Filipino said.

I made a lot of mistakes back in that match, like in my preparation and weight management for example – that’s the reason why I wasn’t able to perform to what’s expected of me and what I wanted to do.

At least I learned from that match, and I was able to see the things that I need to improve on.”

Lito Adiwang tweaking his game ahead of the fight

Lito Adiwang has been working diligently with Team Lakay to correct his faults, and although they were originally preparing for a clash with “Wolf Of The Grasslands” Hexigetu, he feels his strengths will work better against Kawahara.

I think we’re going to adjust heavily here. Now, we’re tweaking our game plan,” Adiwang said.

When we were preparing for Hexigetu, we knew he’s a wrestler with good boxing, but we expected to have a height advantage, so I was really preparing on how he might come in.

Now against Kawahara, he’s the exact opposite. He’s more of a striker, but he’s taller than me. However, I am confident that if it stays on the feet, I’m at an advantage. I just have to focus on his point of attack and be accurate with my counters.”

If he manages to bounce back and secure his third promotional win, Adiwang could set himself up for a busy 2021 – and for an opportunity to rejoin ONE’s top-five strawweight rankings.

Hopefully, ONE will give us a lot of fights. If that happens, I’ll do my best to get all the wins I can so I can see myself being a top contender by the end of the year,” Adiwang said.

However, I’ll wait for my chances because Joshua [Pacio] is still the [strawweight] champion. I just want to put my name among the top and now, I’ll be building on it. By the end of 2021, I want to be there.”

Catch Adiwang versus Kawahara at ONE: UNBREAKABLE at the Singapore Indoor Stadium this Friday, 22, January, on Hotstar, Star Sports Select 2, or the ONE Super App at 6 p.m. India Standard Time (IST).

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