By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
FOLLOWING an eventful 2019 that had him learning a lot both as an individual and as a fighter, Danny “The King” Kingad intends to put the lessons he got into good use as he begins another year with ONE Championship.
Set to see action at “ONE: Fire & Fury” on Jan. 31 at the Mall of Asia Arena against Xie Wei of China in a flyweight battle in the main card, Mr. Kingad (13-2) of Team Lakay said he is upbeat entering another year with Asia’s largest sports media property and showcase his skills anew.
“Everyone will see something new from me in the coming year,” shared Mr. Kingad as he gears up for his upcoming fight.
“With everything that I learned about myself in 2019, [this] year will be a chance for me to show how much I have grown. My personal goal is to win every match in order to become worthy of a world title challenge soon,” he added.
Mr. Kingad last fought in October in Japan where he lost by unanimous decision to American Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson in the finals of the ONE flyweight grand prix.
The Filipino stood toe-to-toe against his legendary opponent but just did get the nod of the judges in the end.
Despite falling short in his quest to bag the grand prix title, 2019 was still a solid year for Mr. Kingad, winning three of his four fights.
His victories came at the expense of Japanese Tatsumitsu Wada and Senzo Ikeda and Australian Reece McLaren, in that order, defeating all of them by decision.
“I learned a lot. I was against top-caliber athletes who were able to make me realize some of my weaknesses, which I continuously work on to improve,” said Mr. Kingad, who prior to his loss to Mr. Johnson racked up six straight victories.
The Team Lakay stalwart said he is expecting a not-so-easy fight against knockout artist Xie (5-2), who has won all his five fights last year in ONE.
Just the same, Mr. Kingad said he is coming into the fight prepared and is out to give the hometown fans a good showing.
The Kingad-Xie fight is part of Fire & Fury, the first for ONE in the country for 2020.
It will be headlined by the ONE world strawweight title fight between reigning champion Joshua Pacio of the Philippines and former champ Alex Silva of Brazil.
Other Filipinos set to see action in the event are former lightweight champion Eduard Folayang, strawweight Lito Adiwang, and women atomweight fighters Gina Iniong and Jomary Torres.
ONE Championships incidentally begins its new season today in Bangkok, Thailand, with “ONE: A New Tomorrow” to be bannered by the ONE flyweight muay thai world championship clash between hometown champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon and Jonathan Haggerty of the United Kingdom.