It was back in August, inside a packed out Mall Of Asia Arena, in Manila Philippines, when the 22-year-old Jonathan Haggerty lost his ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Championship to Thailand’s Rodtang Jitmuangnon.
After dominating the early rounds, the Englishman found himself on the wrong side of the judge’s scorecards as Rodtang came roaring back in the final frames to win via majority decision.
It was a disappointing loss for a fighter mounting his first title defense. Now, after a four-month break from action, Haggerty will look to avenge that defeat when he and Rodtang square off in the main event of ONE: A New Tomorrow.
The bout will take place Friday, 10 January, in Bangkok, Thailand, and after their last tangle, Haggerty is confident he is the man to hand Rodtang his first loss under the ONE banner.
“I don’t think he’s anything special. Yeah, he hit me with some good shots — three good shots that I felt. But technically, I’ve been in there with better people than him. It’s just tweaking things that he won’t expect this time and sharpening things,” Haggerty said in a recent interview with ONE Championship staff writer Jay Furness.
Since arriving at ONE in 2018, Rodtang has racked up six consecutive victories and is regarded as one of the promotions rising stars. The Thai’s ferocious intensity, alongside his willingness to stand and trade, have become his trademark features. However, according to Haggerty, this time around, it will be him not the Thai dictating how the fight unfolds.
“I will come less emotional because, in the fight with Rodtang, he wants you to get emotional. He wants you to fight him. He wants you to bring out your war instincts where you’re not comfortable.
I’m going to stick off my jab and stick off my teep. I’m going to frustrate him. Let him come to fight — which he normally does — and hope we catch him with what we’ve been working on.
If Haggerty can recapture the flyweight title on his opponent’s home turf, he will need to play a perfect hand against one of the best Muay Thai fighters in the world, a task easier said than done. Nevertheless the Englishman, has the talent, confidence and drive to do what has not been done before and on 10 January fans will tune in to see if the hard hitting London native is as good as his word.