October 2, 2023

Team Lakay chair Mark Sangiao is confident all his four fighters, inclu-ding his son, Jhanlo, will win in their respective bouts in the stacked ONE: Winter Warriors II set at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Dec. 17.

Former ONE bantamweight world Champion Kevin Belingon will headline the cast of Cordilleran fighters, as he marks his return together with younger stablemates Danny Kingad, as well as the promotional debuts of Stephen Loman and the younger Sangiao.

Although the fight night is still two weeks away, the older Sangiao is confident on the preparations that his wards have had as they all aim to end the year with a bang.

“I think all our four fighters are ready. We’ve been training continuously and we’ve had no injuries in our training, so we’re prepared for that,” Sangiao said.

It’s a golden opportunity for the Team Lakay warriors to truly unveil the improvements they’ve been working on as they all aim to be more well-rounded fighters. But Sangiao admitted this would not be a walk in the park for his prized pupils, understanding the threat the opposition poses.

Belingon will take on Korean Kwon Won Il, who has undergone extensive boxing training in the Philippines to improve his strikes.

“I think he’s a tough fighter, and it gives me great pride that he trained here in the Philippines for his boxing, so that means he acknowledges boxing here is world-class,” said Belingon, the former titleholder who is aiming to snap his three-fight losing skid.

On the other hand, the second-ranked flyweight Kingad looks to finally settle the score against fourth-ranked Kairat Akhmetov as they butt heads after two cancelled fights.

“It has come true, so I’m excited to finally face him and I think I’m ready for him,” Kingad said.

Loman, the former Brave Combat Federation bantamweight world champion, will test his mettle against third-ranked bantamweight contender Yusup Saadulaev of Russia as he seeks for a memorable introduction in ONE Championship.

“One of my goals is to face the top contenders and I know that I have to show that I belong so that I can face the champion,” Loman said.

The younger Sangiao will get his feet wet against Indonesian fighter Paul Lumihi as he eyes an impactful introduction in ONE.

Undoubtedly, it’s a monstrous challenge for Team Lakay. But pressure only breeds diamonds and the Igorot fighters are just pumped for the opportunity they have at hand. – Harley F. Palangchao