Does Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly possess the same type of hunger he once had when he started in ONE Championship?
That is what his head coach – Mark Sangiao – wants to know following another setback for the Team Lakay featherweight.
Kelly dropped his third match in four tries when he succumbed to Tang Kai at ONE: Age of Dragons last Saturday, 16 November, at the Cadillac Arena in Beijing, China.
The 39-year-old Sangiao cannot help but feel frustrated after another lackluster showing from Kelly, who was dominated by his Chinese foe from start to finish.
From the looks of it, it was not the same Kelly who would knock opponents out in mere seconds, and Sangiao wants answers from his prized pupil.
“I have to talk with him. He needs to be hungry once more,” Sangiao said.
“This cannot be. I am not seeing improvements. He needs to improve or else he will continue to struggle in his career.”
According to Sangiao, Kelly needs to understand there are plenty of people who have spent time and resources helping him get back to winning track.
Nearly everyone on the team worked with the Bataan City resident to prepare him for this match. It therefore left Sangiao dumbfounded when Kelly did not show up last Saturday.
“We need to talk to him about it. I want to know if his heart is still in it. He also has to consider that everyone around him is also doing their part. His teammates are also sacrificing for him,” Sangiao said.
“Although this is an individual sport, you will not survive if you’re alone. It’s unfair to the partners, trainers, and everyone doing their part.”
Sangiao also noticed Kelly’s struggles during training sessions, as his focus seemed to wander off at times.
The former athlete-turned-coach bared that it is Kelly’s other obligations that have bothered him, and though Sangiao did not go into specifics, he hopes his prized ward figures it out before it is too late.
“You’ll see that he lost his hunger. I’ve seen a lot of things and of course I’d point that out to him. It also reflects in training sessions. In there, you’d see if one is still interested and dedicated in winning,” Sangiao said.
“I think his other obligations are also getting in the way because I believe that if you’re on this level, sacrifices have to be made. One reason is I felt like he wasn’t 100-percent focused in training.”
ONE Championship returns to the Lion City for one last time this year with ONE: Edge of Greatness on November 22 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
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