An emotional Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang marched into the Singapore Indoor Stadium with heavy shoulders after recently losing his mother, but he promised to win in spectacular form for her.
And that he did.
Adiwang scored a sensational second-round knockout win of Namiki Kawahara in ONE Championship’s first show of the year – ONE: UNBREAKABLE – on Friday, January 22, and in doing so, he left an otherwise forgettable 2020 behind him.
To say that Adiwang walked a rocky road toward this match would be a terrible understatement.
Coming off his first loss in six years at the hands of Hiroba Minowa late in 2020, Adiwang then lost his mother Leticia two days before the year ended, and just after he agreed to compete in this event.
Adiwang promised to use his loss as motivation, and he lived up to those words on Friday night.
“This was the toughest fight camp I have faced, but to God be the glory, I got the win,” a teary-eyed Adiwang told Mitch Chilson after the match.
“To my family, we’ve been through a lot, I love you so much. This is for you, this is for you mama.”
The 27-year-old promised a much more methodical approach in this bout and it showed as he targeted his opponent’s legs from the start while waiting to counter the Team Alpha Male representative’s own shots.
Being cautious doesn’t mean being boring, though. Adiwang pushed near the end of the first round with blistering combos, keeping the aggressive Kawahara second-guessing at every moment.
Not wanting to leave his fate in the hands of the judges, Adiwang found his opening at the 2:02 mark of the second round as Kawahara moved forward with his head exposed, allowing the Filipino to land a clean left hook flush on the Japanese athlete’s chin for the big KO.
The victory improved Adiwang’s record to 12-3 and got him back on track in his goal of joining teammate and current ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio at the top of the division.
More importantly, it was a much needed victory for Adiwang after a turbulent 2020.
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