Prajanchai PK.Saenchai is confident that he'll retain the ONE strawweight muay Thai world title in style on Friday, May 20.
The Thai star will defend his belt for the first time against Joseph Lasiri in the co-main event of "ONE 157: Petchmorakot vs. Vienot," and he expects a dominant victory at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Meanwhile, his challenger has promised to bring relentless pressure from the opening bell, but the reigning king is unfazed and believes "The Hurricane" will regret his comments.
"He's an aggressive fighter, his endurance is good, and he never hesitates to trade weapons," Prajanchai said. "He always walks in and uses his knees. I don't think he's good at kicking. I think he's easy to handle."
"I heard him saying about me in his latest interview that he would surprise me in the first round. But I think I'd be the one to surprise him. I will hurt him badly and make him realize that I'm a talented muay Thai fighter at a high level."
Prajanchai actually spent some time training with Lasiri in Bangkok, where he got to witness the Italian's game firsthand.
That experience allowed the ONE strawweight muay Thai world champion to get a feel for his opponent's skill set, and he isn't worried about any particular element.
In fact, the 27-year-old feels like Lasiri's pressing muay khao style will work in his favor.
"He used to train here at PK.Saenchai gym, so I had the opportunity to study him a bit," the Thai explained. "And I think his knees are not so scary. I'm not afraid of them.
"On the contrary, his knee style gives me more advantages because he must press forward to hit me, and he will be in trouble with my punch combinations before his knees reach me. He must leave a window for me when he comes to throw his knees."
Prajanchai readies knockout punch for Lasiri
Prajanchai won't just be looking to counter Joseph Lasiri's offense in their ONE strawweight muay Thai world title clash on May 20.
The Bangkok resident also vows to use his own devastating arsenal and bring the fight to the challenger.
Known for the potent hands he honed during his years as a professional boxer, the defending king predicts that his fists will be the Italian's kryptonite – just like they were in his world-title winning performance.
"He has quite a lot of blind spots, and I also found that he will stumble after he eats punches – it seems that he doesn't like punches," the Thai said. "I'm going to use the same weapon that I used to knock Sam-A (Gaiyanghadao) down – an overhand punch. My coach has me training my overhand consistently because it is deadly. It deals more damage than the straight punch."
The aggressive Lasiri has a reputation for charging forward regardless of what comes his way, but Prajanchai thinks that will diminish his ability to defend.
Overall, the strawweight muay Thai king believes his own offensive weaponry will be too much, especially against a man he's studied closely.
"I am 90 percent confident (I will win)," Prajanchai added. "I used to do sparring with him as well when he came to train here at PK.Saenchai. I know his style very well, and he has never changed since then. I see him fight in the same pattern in every fight. So, I am confident that I can handle him and finally beat him.
"I assume that he will do well in his offensive game, but when it comes to the defensive game, he may not know how to do it well. If I get a chance, I’ll knock him out as soon as possible. But I will not be careless."
This story first published at ONEFC.com.