Russia's Balyko hunts for second straight knockout

Russia's Balyko hunts for second straight knockout

Alexey Balyko celebrates after beating Suakim Sor Jor Thongprajin.
Alexey Balyko celebrates after beating Suakim Sor Jor Thongprajin.

Alexey Balyko wants to score another lasting performance in the ONE Lumpinee 56 main event on Friday.

The heavy-handed Russian takes on Panrit Lukjaomaesaiwaree in the March 29 headliner at the historic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium. The Muay Thai showdown will be contested at a 140-pound catchweight.

Balyko has virtually come from the clouds, working his way toward a coveted spot on ONE's main roster.

The 30-year-old holds tertiary qualifications in sports coaching and law in his homeland, but despite having many career options, Muay Thai has remained his first love.

He has split his time in recent years between Thailand and Saint Petersburg, Russia, honing his skills and amassing a 22-9 professional record with 11 of his victories coming inside the distance.

In 2023, he moved to Phuket to take part in the infamous Tiger Muay Thai fight team tryouts. He made a huge impression during the gruelling process, earning his place on the team that includes superstars such as ONE World Champions Fabricio "Wonder Boy" Andrade and Anatoly Malykhin.

The leap of faith paid off even further in September of that same year, as he got his chance to show his wares on the ONE Lumpinee platform.

Balyko dropped 21-year-old phenom Yod-IQ Or Pimolsri with a left hook on his way to a unanimous decision victory to announce himself to the ONE brass.

His fearsome left hook did the damage once again at ONE Lumpinee 47 in January, where he laid out Suakim Sor Jor Thongprajin in the third round of the contest.

Balyko was awarded a 350,000-baht performance bonus by ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong for the crushing finish.

To top off a magical year for the Russian knockout artist, his first child was born.

Becoming a father to a baby girl has given Balyko a whole new reason to achieve his dream of a place on the ONE roster and the 3.5 million-baht contract that comes with it.

If he can deliver another highlight-reel finish at ONE Lumpinee 56, he'll take a big leap toward a career on the global stage with ONE.

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