Sports

Amir Khan confident of taking home gold from ‘perfectly timed’ world title bout

A New lightweight king will be crowned when Singapore’s Amir Khan locks horns with Eduard Folayang to compete for the vacant ONE Lightweight World Championship at ONE: Conquest Of Champions.

The contest will feature as the co-main event when ONE Championship returns to the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines on 23 November.

“I’m super excited for it, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect,” Khan says.

“I feel like my time to shine is now.”

At 23 years old, Khan is already the record holder for most stoppages in the promotion, but this will mark the first time that he will compete for a World Title.

The Singaporean, who trains with the Evolve MMA gym, is fresh off a huge win against Folyang’s Team Lakay training partner, Honorio Banario at ONE: BEYOND THE HORIZON.

“The Rock” was riding a five-bout winning streak, but Khan snapped it by forcing the Filipino to tap to a rear-naked choke at in the first round of their encounter.

That put Khan in prime position to challenge for the World Title held by Martin Nguyen, who was scheduled to defend against the winner of the Shinya Aoki VS Ev Ting match at ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES last month. 

However, Nguyen suffered a knee injury that will keep him sidelined indefinitely, so the two-division World Champion vacated one of his belts so of the deepest divisions in the promotion was not put on hold.

With Aoki and Ting just days away from their contest, ONE Chairman and CEO  Chatri Sityodtong decided it was too late to ask them to compete for five rounds, so Khan’s bid was accelerated.

Khan comes in with supreme confidence, despite Folayang’s credentials as a former World Champion and the fact the match will take place in Folayang’s native land.

“I think his only advantage would be his home ground advantage, having the crowd on his side,” he says.

“I think that as long as I am mentally prepared when I step in the cage, nothing else matters except my opponent in front of me. 

“The crowd is obviously going to be against me, and I intend to just zone out and focus on the match.”

MMA (MIXED MARTIAL ARTS)