Lesson learned as Adiwang tries more ‘technical’ approach against another Japanese foe

Published January 18, 2021, 4:34 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Photo from ONE Championship

Filipino rising star Lito Adiwang of Team Lakay decided to take his first fight of the year on a more “technical” approach.

Adiwang is set to lock horns with another Japanese opponent Namiki Kawahara in ONE: Unbreakable on Friday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

The former No. 5 strawweight contender was initially scheduled to fight Hexigetu of China but a last-minute change occurred due to travel issues.

Read: Adiwang kicks off 2021 with fight against Hexigetu

With the sudden opponent switch, Adiwang said the preparation and mindset are pretty much the same when he enters the Circle as the first one to represent not only Team Lakay but the Philippines this year.

“For this fight, kasi nag-iba iba ‘yung kalaban natin, same mindset. Pero more on focus ako sa pagiging — gagawin kong technical fight,” Adiwang told Filipino scribes in a virtual press conference Monday.

“As long as I get the win, either way kung saan mauna and depende sa chances. For me, the best way, gagawin kong technical [at] pupunta ko sa strength ‘yung laban na ‘to to make sure to get the win.”

“The Thunder Kid” made a name as an aggressive and explosive striker before showing off his improved ground game skills that made him achieve a seven-match win streak.

Were it not for the controversial loss last November against Hiroba Minowa, also from Japan, Adiwang would have maintained momentum en route to 2021.

Moving on, the Team Lakay stalwart is locked on to square off with Kawahara, a ONE Championship debutant holding a 6-3-2 win-loss-draw record.

Team Lakay coach Mark Sangiao, for his part, believes that Adiwang has the upper hand against the Japanese striker.

Read: Adiwang dedicates fight to late mother

“Hanap lang natin, may mga butas na nakikita kami na doon. May weakness part na nakikita namin sa opponent niya, pwede nating dalhin doon ‘yung laro hangga’t maari.”

Adiwang, who has an 11-3 slate, and Kawahara will face in the first installation of the three-part Unbreakable series, marking ONE Championship’s first live event in 2021.