Hot Harrison warns Nong-O
published : 22 Jun 2022 at 04:00
newspaper section: Sports
Liam "Hitman" Harrison reminded the One Championship roster just how dangerous he is when he stepped back into the circle to face "Elbow Zombie" Muangthai PK Saenchai in April.
The hard-hitting Briton put on an electric performance against the Thai star that earned him both a previously unheard-of US$100,000 bonus and a title shot against One bantamweight Muay Thai world champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao.
As Harrison prepares for the biggest bout of his One career, he remains confident that he is the man that will finally snatch the longtime king's throne.
"I'm going to fight Liam Harrison style because that's what got me to where I am today. I'm not going to start trying to out-technique him or run away. I'm not about that. I'm about heart, grit, hard punches, hard kicks, and just coming to entertain and look for the knockout," Harrison said.
"And listen, if anyone could knock him out, it's me. Nobody he has fought with punches like I do. If I land clean, then anyone in four-ounce gloves will go."
Harrison's previous outing in the circle was filled with chaotic ups and downs, even though it only lasted one round.
Only a few short moments after the opening bell, the Hitman had already found himself on the canvas twice, thanks to a blistering head kick first and a brutal left hook from Muangthai.
Things looked worrying for the Leeds native, but he dusted himself off and threw everything he had at his opponent to score three knockdowns in quick succession and earn a TKO victory.
The nail-biting brawl will surely go down in One history as one of its most entertaining bouts, and the hard-fought win has bolstered Harrison's confidence.
The 37-year-old will have to be more cautious and strategic when he steps into the circle against Nong-O, however.
The Thai world champion has been untouchable so far in his One tenure and is currently riding an eight-fight winning streak, with his last three title defences ending in knockouts.
Harrison knows what he'll be up against when he challenges Nong-O for his belt, but he's been waiting a long time for this opportunity, and he's certainly not going to waste it.
"Everyone asked me, 'Who do you wish you could have fought?' I always said Nong-O, but I thought I might not ever get the chance. Now I have. And especially for his belt as well. So it came at a perfect time," Harrison said.
"He's defending his title and no one's been able to touch him, but all good things come to an end, so let's just see what happens."