In December 2019, Alaverdi “Baby Face” Ramazanov worked hard to take the ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Title from “Muay Thai Boy” Zhang Chenglong – but on 22 January, he’ll have to work twice as hard to defend it.
The Russian striker will face Thai knockout star Capitan Petchyindee Academy in the main event of ONE: UNBREAKABLE at the Singapore Indoor Stadium this Friday, and he plans to show the world – and his opponent – that being the titleholder is his destiny.
“I think the time [away from] fighting benefited me because I am hungrier now. I will go there and show more,” Ramazanov said about his extended absence from the Circle.
“Since I became the World Champion, I feel in my [rightful] place. I have more motivation to train harder so the belt stays with me.
“It is very important for me. It is my belt and I’m not planning to give it away. I will go to the ring and show why it is meant to be with me.”
He’ll aim to prove that against Capitan, who produced a new ONE Super Series record with a six-second knockout of Petchtanong Petchfergus in September 2020 at ONE: A NEW BREED III in Thailand.
The historic finish earned the #2-ranked contender a shot at Ramazanov. For his next act, the Thai will try to lay down the World Champion on Singaporean soil.
Ramazanov, however, is unfazed by Capitan’s record knockout. Aside from defending the belt, he’s using this bout to measure his skills against one of the very best.
“My opponent’s last fight finished very quickly, but I am not impressed,” Ramazanov said.
“As a fighter, I am very interested in this matchup because he is a current champion [in Thailand]. He has a big name in Thailand. He has a high rating and I’m very much interested in testing my skills against him.
“Next, I’m looking forward to facing fighters with big names like Nong-O [Gaiyanghadao] and Liam Harrison. And possibly after the next fight, I am interested in going up to featherweight to make a big statement.”
Before he does that, he’ll have to get past Capitan, who’s looking to steer his own ship to the top of the division.
“I think his strongest part is his brain. He can be very unpredictable,” Ramazanov added of his opponent.
“He has very good skills and fighting technique. He can control the fight, and I really like this style of fighting. He can win against the greatest fighters. I think he has it all — IQ, technique, and timing.”
For his part, Ramazonov will fall back on the skills that have made him such a force in the bantamweight division.
“My strongest parts are my long arms and legs — he is shorter than me — and my superiority is my boxing skills. I have very powerful punches,” he said.
The Russian also sent a stern warning to his challenger – a warning that Capitan surely heard loud and clear.
“If I like my opponent, and if he behaves well, I won’t knock him out. I will show a very good fight with him,” Ramazanov said.
“If he misbehaves, I’ll knock him out in five seconds – not six!”
Watch Ramazanov defend his belt against Capitan at ONE: UNBREAKABLE this Friday, 22 January, on meWATCH or the ONE Super App at 8:30 p.m. Singapore Standard Time (SGT).
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