Adiwang unloads killer left hook–and a lot of emotion–in dismantling Japanese foe | Inquirer Sports

Adiwang unloads killer left hook–and a lot of emotion–in dismantling Japanese foe

/ 05:00 AM January 24, 2021

Lito Adiwang let out a scream and pointed to the sky after knocking out Namiki Kawahara in the second round in ONE Championship’s Unbreakable card in Singapore on Friday night.

The emotion was understandable. The former strawweight contender, after all, was carrying so much load on his shoulders.

“Honestly, this is the toughest camp that I [had],” Adiwang said in a virtual presser straight from the Singapore Indoor Stadium. “The preparation leading up to this fight was tough for me emotionally because of (my last) loss. It was really hard to get back up. I couldn’t get my momentum to get to the gym and train. My spirit was low. Then suddenly tragedy struck—my mom passed away,”


It took Adiwang just seven minutes and two seconds—and a booming left hook—to do away with his Japanese foe, fulfilling what he intended to do all along: honoring his late mother Leticia while getting back to the win column.


The soft-spoken striker admitted to having the jitters. Not because he had little preparation time for Kawahara, a replacement for Chinese grappler Hexigetu, but for the emotional baggage he had been lugging around.

“Honestly, leading to this fight I was nervous—not because of my opponent, but because [of the question] whether I could perform well,” he said. “I’m trying to overcome [that fear].”

“I’m just happy it went well,” he added.

Adiwang’s victory sets the tone not only for Team Lakay, but for all Filipino fighters competing in the Asian promotion. The Philippines has had a checkered outing since ONE’s July reboot from the pandemic, registering just three victories out of the 10 matches Filipinos fought in. Among the losses was a controversial split decision loss by Adiwang to Hiroba Minowa, another Japanese.

Adiwang feels he now has given the promotion good enough reason to consider giving him a rematch vs Minowa.

“It’s up to ONE if they want a rematch,” he said.


“But we have a lot of good talent in our division. If he doesn’t want to dance with me again, then I’m ready to accept better challenges.”

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TAGS: Lito Adiwang, Namiki Kawahara, One Championship

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