Harrison faces Pongsiri test
published : 24 May 2023 at 05:00
newspaper section: Sports
ONE Championship has announced the full card for the 18th instalment of its weekly series of events at Bangkok's Lumpinee Boxing Stadium.
ONE Lumpinee 18 will be headlined by rising Australian star Tyson Harrison on Friday.
He faces decorated Thai veteran Pongsiri PK Saenchai in a bantamweight Muay Thai battle that promises fireworks.
Harrison has made a huge impression since joining the ONE roster earlier this year.
Dubbed "John Wayne Noi" (Little John Wayne), Harrison made his debut in January with an early contender for "fight of the year" honours against former four-time Muay Thai world champion Seksan Or Kwanmuang.
Although he came up short when the scorecards were announced, Harrison pushed the Thai legend all the way to a razor-thin split decision.
In his return bout in March, the 22-year-old ensured that the judges were not required.
In the final seconds of what had been a wild, back-and-forth battle, Harrison knocked out former two-time Lumpinee world champion Rambo Mor Rattanabandit with a huge right hand to record his first win on the global stage.
This time out, however, Pongsiri promises to be another stern test.
The 32-year-old has been a staple of the ONE roster since 2020 and counts four Muay Thai world titles and two Lumpinee world championships among the accolades earned across his 205 professional fights.
Pongsiri was last seen outpointing tough Turkish striker Ferzan Cicek at ONE Friday Fights 2 in January.
Headlining the international portion of the card is a featherweight kickboxing showdown between Moroccan standout Mohammed Boutasaa and Iranian prospect Mohammed Siasarani.
Boutasaa sprung an upset on debut back in May 2022, when he outpointed Georgian legend Davit Kiria.
The 23-year-old was also impressive in his most recent showing, a close decision loss to Thai star Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong in October.
Siasarani also beat a more fancied opponent on debut.
The 20-year-old claimed a majority decision victory over Avatar PK Saenchai at ONE Friday Fights 2, announcing himself on the global stage in style.
Earlier in the evening, ONE strawweight Muay Thai world champion Smilla Sundell will try her hand at kickboxing.
The teenage prodigy faces Serbian promotional newcomer Milana Bjelogrlic.
In MMA action, India's Manthan Rane will make his debut in a flyweight battle against Russia's Andrey Chelbaev, who is also making his promotional bow.
In the opening bout of the card, Brazilian veteran Richard Godoy and Kazakh knockout artist Ali Kabdulla will each look to make it two wins from two under the ONE banner in a lightweight tilt.
The first bout starts at 7.30pm at Lumpinee and Channel 7HD will show the programme live from 8.30pm.