Katsuki Kitano motivated to pull off upset against “big name” Liam Harrison

By BJPENN.COM Staff - May 28, 2024

Katsuki Kitano is fully aware of the rewards he could gain if he plays his cards right in the biggest bout of his career.

Katsuki Kitano

“Bong” locks horns with Muay Thai legend Liam Harrison in a bantamweight clash at ONE 167 on Prime Video. This U.S. primetime card emanates live from the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand, on June 7.

Kitano, a veteran of 35 career fights, has steadily established himself as one of Japan’s top talents and a rising star to watch in ONE Championship.

Yet, he knows that standing across from him in the Circle will be one of the most beloved and respected figures in the sport.

“I’ve known about him for a long time, and I saw my senior Yamato Tetsuya fight him before, so when I got the offer, I thought, ‘Wow, it’s my turn now.’ I decided I’d go for it wholeheartedly,” he said.

His upcoming assignment represents more than just a fight for the Japanese striker. It is an opportunity to catapult his career to new heights.

“Since he’s a big name, if I can beat him, this is a great opportunity,” Kitano said. “He’s a big name, so it really motivates me.”

In preparing for this bout, Kitano is leaving no stone unturned, recognizing his opponent’s extensive pedigree.

“I need to watch out for his low kicks. And I think he’s faster than I expected, so I have to be careful about that.”

“His weakness is that I have the reach advantage over him. But still, I don’t think he has any openings. I’m training hard to make sure I win.”

Katsuki Kitano looks to utilize youth against Liam Harrison

Despite the daunting task, Katsuki Kitano sees a path to a decisive victory.

Being 11 years younger than Liam Harrison, he intends to use his youth to get an advantage.

“My kicking game is an advantage since I’ve been doing Muay Thai for so long,” Kitano said. “I’m younger, so I have the stamina advantage if I train properly. I’m making sure his longer career doesn’t let him make up for that.”

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


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