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Kickboxing

Lito Adiwang believes Zhang’s power the difference in Akimoto bout

It’s going to be another exciting clash in ONE Super Series when Hiroki Akimoto takes on third-ranked bantamweight “Muay Thai Boy” Zhang Chenglong in the main event of the previously recorded ONE: Reign of Dynasties II, which airs this Friday, October 16, in Singapore.

The pair are looking to position themselves closer to a World Title shot in the bantamweight division of kickboxing, where Alaverdi “Babyface Killer” Ramazanov sits at the top.

Team Lakay’s resident fight geek, Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang, will keep a close eye on this match — and he expects a tight clash between the two men with diverse striking backgrounds.

“We have two technical fighters who have their own style in approaching the fight. Akimoto has a background in karate, where he got his speed. And Zhang, who I assume has a background in Wushu Sanda, he got his explosive counter striking style of fighting,” Adiwang said.

“I see this fight being a chess match; whoever is more focused and more patient in his attack will win this fight.”

“Thunder Kid” thinks the Japanese athlete will be quicker, but he insists that Akimoto has to be faster than usual because Zhang can lure his opponents into engaging with him, setting them up for big counters — and he expects to see that from “Muay Thai Boy” in this contest.

“For Akimoto, he needs to use his speed advantage. He has to be fast in his attacks and get out of the way after every attack. Maybe do more lateral movement and footwork, because Zhang has very good counter striking,” Adiwang said.

“[Zhang] is the type of fighter who will wait for you to strike and counter with powerful, pinpoint combinations. We can see his years of experience in doing it because he does it very well.

“He just doesn’t counter you to defend your attack,” Adiwang added, “but he counters you to set up his attacks. So if I’m Akimoto, I need to give a lot of fake attacks before hitting him with power shots and use my lateral movement.”

He also expects Zhang to be on a different level when it comes to power.

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“If Akimoto stands toe-to-toe and fights power-for-power with Zhang, it will be lights out for him, especially if they use four-ounce gloves,” Adiwang said.

Ultimately, that’s the reason why Adiwang is picking “Muay Thai Boy” in this contest.

“Zhang, for me, has more power and is more accurate with his strikes. I’m giving him the edge for this match,” Adiwang said.

“I see him catching Akimoto with his power punches and getting a TKO win. I’m very excited to watch these two compete and I wish them both the best of luck.”

Watch ONE: REIGN OF DYNASTIES II on One Sports+ at 8:30 p.m. Philippine Standard Time (PHT). Also, One Sports will air the event on a same-day delay at 9 p.m. PHT.

In addition to that, TV5 will air the show on a next-day delay at 11 p.m. PHT on Saturday, October 17. You can also catch all the action on the ONE Super App for free.


Read More From ONE Championship:

The Best Pictures From ONE: REIGN OF DYNASTIES

Full Card Revealed For ONE: REIGN OF DYNASTIES II On 16 October

Sam-A Retains ONE Strawweight World Title With TKO Of Josh Tonna

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