“Very excited. I can’t wait.”
These were the initials words mentioned by former ONE Flyweight World Title challenger Danny “The King” Kingad after the announcement of his next match last week.
Kingad is set to face Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov in the semi-finals of the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES at the 20,000-seater Mall of Asia Arena in Manila on 2 August.
This is the much-awaited showdown of two of the best flyweights on the planet after both athletes impressively passed their initial test at ONE: A NEW ERA in Tokyo, Japan last March.
Kingad dominated Senzo Ikeda of Japan while Akhmetov overpowered Reece McLaren of Australia en route to a unanimous win for both martial arts stars in their quarterfinal matches in the aforementioned eight-man tournament.
For Kingad, his showdown with Akhmetov will definitely bring fireworks in Manila, the 23-year-old Baguio City native also believes that his semi-final match against the former ONE Flyweight king is the biggest in his career.
“I am really thrilled to be a part of it. It’s a different feeling to compete in front of your countrymen,” said Kingad.
“For me this is the biggest fight of my career. He’s a former champion so I am really preparing hard for this.”
Started training right away after his hand was raised in Tokyo, Kingad admits that Akhmetov will impose serious challenge when they meet in the center of the cage on 2 August.
Just like what his head coach Mark Sangiao stated, Kingad also agrees that his 31-year-old Kazakh counterpart has improved vastly in his previous bouts.
“He’s improved so much from his last outing and that just fuels me even more to work double-time or even triple-time in training,” shared Kingad.
“It’s not gonna be easy facing Akhmetov, that’s why I’ll pour my heart in preparing for him cause I really want to be ready when we face each other.“
But despite the enormous assignment he needs to solve in Manila, Kingad is confident that his name will still be the one going to be announced as winner when the final bell rang.
“I really want this win. I know that I am two wins away from my dream of another World Title shot,” said Kingad.
“I’ll give everything and I’ll showcase all the things that I’ve prepared for to get the win.”