BEN Askren defends his welterweight championship belt against Russia’s Nikolay Aleksakhin in One:Global Rivals on Friday at MOA Arena.
Askren said he is confident he will deliver a more entertaining fight this time against Aleksahkin after a disappointing result in his previous Manila fight against Brazil’s Luis Santos. The fight was stopped after an unintentional eye poke, but Askren accused Santos of exaggerating the injury.
"I owe the Filipino fans. The last time I was in Manila obviously the bout didn’t have the outcome anyone wanted and my opponent was a lot less than courageous in faking his eye injury. The Filipino fans were unfairly robbed of a good fight. They lost the main event that night. I have to do an extra dominant job on April 15th to make sure the Filipino fans get a fight made up to them that they lost out on last year."
"You can look in my eyes, I’m honestly 100 percent not concerned about anything Nikolay Aleksakhin brings to the table. He’s not an elite striker. I face strikers who are twice as good as him on a daily basis at practice. He is not as good of a wrestler as me. Hell, I’ll let him take me down! He can take me down all he wants because once we get on the ground he’s in my world."
April Osenio battles Batalie Gonzales in an all-Filipina atomweight match, followed by the bantamweight fight between Burn Soriano versus Sunoto of Indonesia.
Team Lakay’s Danny Kingad goes up against Muhamad Haidar of Malaysia in the flyweight division, while former One featherweight champion Honorio “the Rock” Banario takes on Pan Asian champion Vaughn Donayre in a lightweight fight.
Featherweight champion Martin Nguyen of Vietnam battles Li Kai Wen of China.
Another All-Filipino is featured in the card, with Joshua Pacio of Team Lakay takes on Robin Catalan, the national wushu champion from Mindanao in the strawweight category.
Geje Eustaquio tangles with Malaysian bantamweight Gianni Subba, while lightweight Lowen Tynanes battles Koji Ando.
Reece McLaren from Australia meets 19-year old Muin Gafurov from Tajikistan in a bantamweight bout.