World champion strikers Armen Petrosyan and Chris “The African Warrior” Ngimbi put on a three-round ONE Super Series kickboxing masterclass at ONE: REIGN OF KINGS.
It was an intriguing clash of styles pitching technicality against aggression, and it was decided by a razor-thin split decision, in Manila, the Philippines on Friday, 27 July.
Ultimately, it was Ngimbi’s forward pressure and hard-punching that took the nod from the judges, earning him the victory in the Mall Of Asia Arena.
Italy’s Petrosyan looked to have his opponent’s game plan worked out in round one. Stepping in with punching combinations, he peppered Ngimbi’s face – with his straight right proving to be particularly effective.
The man from Milan continued to look the slicker of the two as the second round began, creating angles and landing left hooks on his wild-swinging adversary.
However, once Ngimbi managed to find a mark with his powerful hooks, it signalled a switch in momentum. Petrosyan went weak at the knees as “The African Warrior” charged after him.
Ngimbi kept the forward pressure on his opponent in the third, sensing a window of opportunity to finish the bout.
The Italian remained active on the back foot, working teeps and a right cross, but he was fading as Ngimbi continued his ascendency. “The African Warrior” could not find the single shot to end the contest, but he kept trying until the final bell rang.
A late surge was not quite enough to achieve victory in his impressive performance against Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex in his last bout, but a shift in momentum in the second half of this contest was enough to sway two of the three judges.
The split decision went the way of Ngimbi, who earned his first ONE victory in his sophomore outing, and improved his record to 50-21.