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    Folayang set to defend lightweight belt vs hometown rival Aoki in ONE Tokyo card

    Mar 29, 2019
    PHOTO: one championship

    EDUARD Folayang expects another tough draw when he defends his ONE Lightweight Championship against hometwon favorite Shinya Aoki at ONE: A New Era on Sunday at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan.

    "I am well-prepared for this bout," said the Igorot warrior during the press conference on Thursday at Ritz Carlton in Tokyo.

    "I know Shinya has prepared well also and I am expecting the very best from him."

    Folayang (21-6) first won the promotion's lightweight title from Aoki with a third-round technical knockout win back in November 2016 in Singapore.

    Though he lost the title to Martin Nguyen a year later, he reclaimed the throne to become a two-time division king with a unanimous decision victory over Amir Khan last November in Manila.

    "This rematch is three years in the making. It’s an honor to face Shinya again. I believe this event is going to be explosive. History will be made," said Folayang.

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      But this is a different version of Aoki (42-8, 1 NC), who has won his last three fights in emphatic fashion, with his latest victim being Ev Ting last October in Bangkok.

      "I am laser-focused for this coming match. I’ve trained very hard for my opponent. This Sunday night, I am confident I can achieve victory and become World Champion once again," he said.

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      Also on the challenger's side is the hometown crowd, with ONE staging this stacked card for the first time in the Japanese capital.

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      PHOTO: one championship
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