MANILA — Eduard Folayang came up with a superb display of striking prowess to frustrate a highly determined Ev Ting and successfully retain the ONE lightweight title Friday night before Filipino fans at Mall of Asia Arena.
“The Landslide” threw every fancy strike in his arsenal in an effort to put down the Malaysian-Kiwi challenger, but Ting proved to be a formidable opponent who could take shots as well as throw them.
But Folayang proved to be the busier fighter, connecting a majority of his shots, while Ting tried to go for the decisive punch.
“Si Ting talagang handang handa siya, he came really prepared for me. But I learned from the mistakes of the people he’d beaten,” said the champion.
In the end, the judges were convinced to give Folayang a unanimous decision win.
“My game plan to keep the fight in the middle of the cage, but the champion played the right game,” said a teary-eyed Ting.
“I like to engage in scrambles. But he did what’s necessary to win the fight, yeah, you might say his game plan worked.”
Folayang’s victory somehow eased the pain of his heartbreaking defeat in Manila more than 2 years ago.
In December 2014, he succumbed to a frightening first round knockout against Timofey Natsyukin. That loss nearly drove Folayang to retire.
“(This win) means a lot. I know a lot of you guys felt discouraged the last time i fought here. That was the time I slept on the mat,” said Folayang.
“Now you witnessed my return.”
Folayang added that he also got some extra motivation from his boxing idol Manny Pacquiao, who was at Mall of Asia Arena to witness his fight.
“I was encouraged. He greeted me and wished me luck. It feels good na pinanood din tayo ng paborito nating atleta,” he said.
Folayang came in as a heavy favorite over Ting.
Prior the fight, Ting chalked up victories over Filipino fighters Eric and Edward Kelly, Honorio Banario, Cary Bullos and Rolando Dy Navarette.
It was Folayang’s first title defense since wresting the crown from Japan’s Shinya Aoki last November.
Folayang now has a record of 18-5, while Ting now has a record of 13-4.
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