Mangat called out Eustaquio after his victory over Yodkaikaew “Y2K” Fairtex at ONE 158: Tawanchai vs. Larsen on June 3, and he explained the need to face off with the Filipino in his post-fight press conference.
“[It’s for] Kyle Reyes, my teammate who passed away. He helped me almost two to three times back-to-back getting ready for that fight [with Eustaquio], but those fights never happened,” Mangat said.
“It’s nothing against my opponent. It’s just something personal I hold in my heart, that we prepared, day-in and day-out, three times a day for almost two years, and now he passed away. But I still want to complete [the fight].”
Mangat prepared for Eustaquio twice with teammate Kyle Reyes in the past, but due to COVID and travel restrictions, those matches had to be sidelined.
That’s why despite all the good fights lined-up for him, including a potential rematch with #5-ranked flyweight Reece “Lightning” McLaren, he knows that he has to finish this one for his fallen teammate who passed away last year.
“In the future, for sure [I’d like to face Reece]. But I definitely want to do the Geje fight first. I think we both do. I’ve been seeing him posting articles,” he said.
“Maybe fall or closer to winter time we’d do that, and it’d be quite an exciting fight.”
And if that happens, expect a barnburner between the two dynamic flyweights.
“I think it does [have the potential to be a classic]. That’s why he and I are so interested [in fighting],” Mangat said.
“For me, personally, it’s a great contest because it’s the Philippines versus India, and I fought Filipinos before, and it’s always been a great, respectful rivalry.”
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