Before Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang makes his much-awaited debut in the ONE Championship main roster at ONE: CENTURY, the well-versed strawweight gives tribute to his second mom.
Adiwang credits part of his success to his former student named Yoh Fong, who eventually became his mother-figure he was coaching in Malaysia.
The 26-year-old secured a lucrative six-figure contract after scoring a unanimous decision win over Anthony “The Antidote” Do of Vietnam in the main event of ONE Warrior Series 7 in Singapore on 6 August.
And for him, he would not be here had it not been for Fong.
"My mom Yoh Fong is extraordinary. She really motivated me to pursue my dreams. She made sure that I went straight, gave me valuable advice, and motivated me to conquer all the hardships in my life,” Adiwang said.
“Wherever I am now, she’s a huge part of it.”
The two met back in 2014 when Adiwang worked in Malaysia.
Adiwang worked as a gym instructor and Fong became one of his students in a kickboxing class. They got to know each other and eventually became good friends.
More so than friendship, it is the lessons that the 46-year-old Malaysian imparted on his life which makes her a cut above the rest.
"I’m so lucky to know her and maybe that’s one of the reasons why I reached Malaysia. She helped me and really treated me like her own,” Adiwang said.
“She made sure that whatever success I reach, I would always stay the same person.”
When he was in Malaysia, Adiwang admitted that he enjoyed his job and it helped him a lot financially, but this meant that he had to give up competing full time.
But Fong kept on Adiwang and made sure he pursued his dreams.
“She gave me direction. If it wasn’t for her, I’d be forever coach in Malaysia because I needed to make money for my family,” Adiwang said.
“But when she saw my eagerness to get my back to my fighting career, she helped me pursue it. I stopped working and focused on being a fighter again while also fulfilling my duties to my family,” he added.
Adiwang said that Fong even spent her own money for him to train in Thailand.
“She even sent me to Thailand to make sure I got a good training camp. The things that I got there, I still get to use to this day.”
For Adiwang, it is all about gratitude. He promises to make up for everything by being successful in what he does.
“I want to thank her for all the sacrifices and assistance that I received from her. But most especially, for her continuous guidance to me as a person. I know that she didn’t want anything more than for me to reach my dreams,” Adiwang said.
“That’s why I’ll do everything to succeed. I’ll show her that all her sacrifices for me won’t go to waste.”
Watch ONE Championship’s next event, ONE: IMMORTAL TRIUMPH, on 6 September in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It will be the organization’s first-ever all-Super Series event.
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