By Lerpong Amsa-ngiam
The 33-year-old fighter, winner at Lumpini Muay Thai in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2013, will feature in one of the 12 bouts in the martial arts event, the fourth stop of the One Championship series this season.
“I am really confident I can beat him,” said Nong-O, adding that he had been in intensive training for the world title clash.
“I have trained for three months in Singapore. To strengthen my body, sports science has been used and it works very well. I can say that I am 100 percent ready for the fight. I am now mentally and physically fit.”
The Sakon Nakhon boxer admitted that his Chinese opponent should not be underestimated since he has faced several Thai boxers, including Tuktahong Petchpayathai, Saengmanee Saengmaneemuaythaigym and Muangthai P.K.Saenchaimuaythaigym.
“He [Han Zi Hao] has practised Muay Thai since he was a child. He can speak Thai. I know he has worked hard for this fight. I cannot underestimate him at all,” said Nong-O.
In the women’s atomweight mixed martial arts bout (52.2kg), the Kingdom’s Thai-Japanese sweetheart Rika “Tinydoll” Ishige, is set to square off against Nou Srey Pov of Cambodia. Ishige, one of the most prolific female athletes in the One Championship, said it was an honour to compete on such a big stage in Bangkok, and that Nou Srey Pov was one of the most experienced and skilled opponents she would face in her career.
“The One Women’s atomweight division is very deep and there are a lot of exciting young talents, including myself,” Rika said. “I plan to climb up the ladder this year and defeat whoever is in front of me to bring me closer to the World Title.”
Other Thai athletes on Saturday’s card include Kongsak P.K.Saenchaimuaythaigym, who takes on 3-time IFMA World Champion Alaverdi Ramazanov in a bantamweight Muay Thai contest (65.8kg), and Superlek Kiatmoo9, who faces Lao Chetra of Cambodia in a flyweight Muay Thai contest (61.2kg).