MANILA, Philippines -- After suffering a controversial defeat in his most recent match, Team Lakay's Lito Adiwang should win in explosive fashion in his upcoming bout this Friday.
This was the prediction made by ONE strawweight world champion Joshua Pacio, who counts Adiwang as one of his teammates in Team Lakay. "The Passion" will be an interested spectator when Adiwang returns to the ONE Circle in a strawweight bout against Japan's Namiki Kawahara at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Like many, Pacio had hoped for Adiwang to get an immediate rematch against Hiroba Minowa, who secured a split decision win over "Thunder Kid" when they fought in November.
"They have to run it back," Pacio said of the bout, which marked the end of Adiwang's seven-match winning streak.
Pacio is confident of Adiwang's chances against Kawahara, who will be making his promotional debut at ONE: Unbreakable. He sees a "good clash of styles" between the two combatants, but the champion believes Adiwang will emerge as the winner.
"Lito will be prepared for anything Namiki Kawahara brings to the table," he assured. "He'll be fully prepared for any situation."
"Here at Team Lakay, we learn from our losses," he pointed out. "We treat them as good experiences. Lito has levelled up his game, and he's ready to showcase how much better he's gotten since his last fight."
"I think Lito wins this one by explosive knockout," Pacio predicted.
While he believes that Adiwang has faced more tougher opponents, Pacio stressed that they are not underestimating Kawahara. Moreover, he can tell from how Adiwang has been training that his teammate is raring to grab a bounce-back win.
"He's completely ready for this match-up," said Pacio. "I see Lito train every single day in the gym, wearing his heart on his sleeve. I know how hard he works and what skills he has."
"There aren't many people who can match him strength for strength."