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Boku blocking Lee’s path

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Christian Lee (right) owns a professional record of seven wins and one loss. Supplied

SINGAPORE (AFP) – Martial arts standout Christian “The Warrior” Lee of Singapore is regarded as one of the most talented featherweights in ONE Championship. He owns a stellar professional record of seven wins and only one loss. At just 19-years of age, Lee emerges as one of the top contenders in the division.

At ONE: Warriors of The World which takes place this Saturday at Bangkok’s Impact Arena, Lee takes on his toughest challenge to date in veteran Kotetsu Boku. Boku, the former ONE Lightweight World Champion, is one of Lee’s most credible opponents, and the young man knows his Japanese foe is not to be underestimated.

“Boku is not a man to be taken lightly. He is a former world champion in the lightweight division, he dropped down to featherweight, and since then he has been on a tear,” Lee acknowledges.

“He has knocked out four of his last five opponents. In his last two matches, he finished Timofey Nastyukhin and Eric Kelly, and those were two top contenders in the division, so to think that his age is slowing him down would be a big mistake.”

One of the most compelling aspects of this matchup however, is the age difference between the two competitors. With Boku clocking in at 40-years of age, he owns over two decades of experience over Lee, who is over 20 years younger.

“Boku is older, he is aging, and he is slowing down, but he still has his power, his timing, and still is a dangerous martial artist. So I am going to be careful with my game plan, and just show him, and the rest of the world, that I am the future of this division.”

Since dropping a submission loss to now reigning ONE Featherweight and Lightweight World Champion Martin Nguyen in August of 2016, Lee has won two straight – a technical knockout victory over China’s Wan Jianping and Malaysian rival Keanu Subba. A victory over Boku would welcome Lee to the upper echelon of ONE Championship’s featherweight talent who are all vying for a crack at the belt.

“If I go out there and it is a three round war that goes to a decision, I might need to prove myself more. But if i go out there and do what I do best, which is take him out in devastating fashion, then who is next?

“There is Marat Gafurov, Boku, Narantungalag Jadambaa, and me. Between those key players, I feel this is the determining match to see who is next in line for the featherweight world title shot.”

Needless to say, Lee’s future is riding on his next bout. Depending on the way he performs, and the bout’s outcome, Lee could be well on his way to the coveted ONE Championship gold.

ONE: Warriors Of The World is headlined by a title bout between reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito of Japan and challenger Alex “Little Rock” Silva of Brazil. The co-main event will see local Thai martial arts superstar Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai take on Russia’s Rasul Yakhyaev in an official ONE Lightweight World Championship title eliminator.

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