EDWARD Kelly believes there is time to make up for wasted opportunities.
The Filipino is determined to make most of the dwindling chances, especially since fighters who dealt him his last two defeats are already in contention for world championships.
Narantungalag Jadambaa headlines One: Roots of Honor as he challenges Martin Nguyen for the featherweight title, while Christian Lee is aiming to dislodge Shinya Aoki for the lightweight crown at ONE: Enter The Dragon in Singapore in May.
And just like anyone who flubbed their chances, he feels deep regret.
"Nasa isip ko yung panghihinayang. Nasayang ko yung opportunity na binigay sa akin ng One," he admitted. "Malaki talaga yung sinayang kong chance at alam ko naman yung shortcomings ko sa mga laban namin, and I hope na magsilbi talagang aral sa akin."
Lucky for Kelly (11-6), the window is still open as he takes on Korean Sung Jong Lee (2-4) in the Manila card on Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.
"Gusto ko i-prove na nandito pa ako at umakyat muli," he said.
It's a make-or-break fight for the 35-year-old Kelly.
He is also frank enough to acknowledge that at his age, his career is nearing its end and before he hangs his gloves for good, he wants to show that he is also capable of being a contender just like his Team Lakay stablemates.
"Iniisip ko yung edad ko. To be practical, malapit na ako mag-retire pero di ko pa natitikman yung maging world champion. Nasa isip ko na kaya ng teammates ko maging world champion, so bakit ako hindi ko kakayanin? Yun ang nilalagay ko sa isip ko," he said.
"Pinaghandaan ko ito. Sa last fights ko, physically ready at well-trained ako pero napansin ko na kulang ako sa mental toughness. Sa Friday, sana maipakita ko yung mga adjustments ko para sa mental training ko."