Adrian “The Hunter” Pang stepped into the cage against Amir Khan hunting a huge battle, but he didn’t come away from the contest feeling like he got one.
The gritty veteran returns to action at ONE: HEROES OF HONOR on Friday, 20 April, looking to get back to winning ways after his unanimous decision loss to Khan in Singapore.
The Australian says he was disappointed with how his last bout panned out.
“They had a real smart game plan of hitting and moving,” the 40-year-old told ONE Championship.
“I would say if maybe my knee was better, I could have chased him down, and that is what I like to do. I like to hunt people down, but I was really limited with my movement. He played it smart.
“I am not taking anything away from him. Something is always going to be wrong. I really thought I could have put one on his chin, and put him away. But he got away with it, so good on him.”
Pang has since given his knee more time to recover and was cleared by his doctor, enabling him to accept the offer of a bout the very next day. And it’s the sort of contest that will have ONE Championship fans on the edge of their seats in anticipation.
Pang will take on former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio Banario at the Mall of Asia Arena in the Philippines.
It’s an opportunity for the Aussie to bounce back from a three-bout losing streak, and return to the win column with a notable victory over a former world champion.
“It is funny. I have never lost three in a row in my career, but here we are,” he explained.
“Now, I am facing someone who has four wins in a row, and I really like it, because I know the whole Team Lakay is really tough. He comes forward, he tries to engage standing, grappling, and everything.
“Let’s hope he does the same thing here, and we will just collide in the middle. I know he comes to bring it. That whole team does, so I am definitely excited about it.”
The 40-year-old won’t be drawn on his martial arts future, but says he’s still more than capable of competing at the highest level inside the ONE Championship cage.
“I’ve still got it. I still feel great,” he said.
“I still feel I can keep doing it. I just want exciting contests. I have had titles, and that ONE Lightweight World Championship would have been a real dream to me.
“When I lost to [Eduard] Folayang, that was the number one contender’s bout, and the winner would have gone on to the title. Folayang ended up knocking out Shinya [Aoki], and I feel that could have been my night.
“I came up short my last few bouts, so I am not thinking about the title now. I just want good, exciting contests.”