By Jerome Lagunzad
Local hero Eduard Folayang puts his ONE lightweight world title on the line against the dangerous Australian challenger Martin Nguyen in what promises to be an all-out brawl tomorrow night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The 5-foot-9 Folayang, 32, is determined to make a successful defense of the coveted title for the second straight time since he snatched it from legendary Japanese grappler Shinya Aoki via a technical knockout victory last year.
But the proud Baguio City native, known as “The Landslide,” is bracing himself for a tough grind in his cross-divisional showdown with Nguyen, 28, the reigning ONE featherweight titleholder.
“We have the ability to hang with the best, no matter what the field. That is why I accepted this challenge in front of me. Join me as I continue my journey this coming Friday,” said Folayang, sporting a win-loss-draw record of 18-5-2, in the event’s pre-fight presser held on Tuesday at the Grand Ballroom of City of Dreams, Manila.
“Winning this bout is my top priority, to keep this belt on my shoulder. It is going to be tough, but I have my people to support me. I want to make everyone proud. I want to show the fans that Filipino athletes are world-class.”
Nguyen is considered as one of the finest well-rounded fighters, underscored by his stunning second-round TKO victory over former ONE featherweight champion Marat Gafurov in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last August.
“I have worked very hard to be in this position. I know chances like this are very rare. I will do my best to take another world title home for my family and all of my fans. 2017 has already been a big year for me, and I am looking to end it with another belt on my shoulder,” said Nguyen, who sports a near flawless record of 9-1.
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