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Adiwang has all motivation to fight hard

/ 04:28 AM January 19, 2021

Lito Adiwang: Grieving

Lito Adiwang believes that the only way to deal with a crisis is to facing it head-on.

This is why he had no qualms about competing even while he continues to mourn the recent passing of his mother, Leticia.

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“I think this is better for me,” Adiwang, with a long face and somber tone, told the Inquirer in a virtual interview from his hotel room in Singapore.

“The last night [of the wake], coach Mark [Sangiao] visited us. I already signed a contract. We had a chance to beg off from the fight. But I told coach that I’d still go on with it,” he recalled.

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“I will have something to focus on, something to do. That has become my mindset [thus far],” said Adiwang, who is set to compete in ONE Championship’s first showpiece of the year.

The 27-year-old, who holds an 11-3-zero pro record, is set to face Namiki Kawahara, a fellow striker from Japan who hastily replaced Hexigetu of China over the weekend.

If anything, Adiwang feels this is the most opportune time to compete.

Firstly, he gets to honor his late mom on the very stage that has propelled him to prominence, and then he gets the chance to bounce back from a bum split decision loss to Hiroshi Minowa in November last year that put a dent in his then scot-free record.

“I came from a loss. I want to get back up as a contender (in the strawweight division),” Adi­wang said.

“And I want to release all the grief, the frustration that I’ve been bottling,” he added.

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“We rushed my mom to the hospital—a memory that I’ve been blocking off my mind. They did not treat her immediately. She died outside the hospital,” Adiwang said of his mother, who passed away on Dec. 30 due to complications brought about by multiple strokes in 2016.

Adiwang was tipped as the next big star to come out of the famed Benguet fight stable after his stellar showing in ONE’s developmental circuit, Warrior Series, and an impressive main circuit debut in 2019 that made him the fifth-best contender in his weight class where teammate Joshua Pacio reigns.

“It’s like solving two problems in one (fell swoop),” said Adiwang, who will have less than a week to prepare for his new foe. “The best way, really, is to face [the hurdles].”

“This is the opportunity that I was given. It’s a chance for me to show that I’ve matured and I’ve grown to look at things positively. And that I don’t run away from things,” he added. INQ

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