China’s Zhang Chenglong is on the cusp of greatness.
This Friday night, 6 December, at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Zhang goes for gold when he takes on Alaverdi Ramazanov in the evening’s co-main event at ONE: MARK OF GREATNESS. The bout will be for the inaugural ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Championship.
These past few months, Zhang has focused greatly on improving all of his skills, particularly his hands, as he prepares for one of the most difficult assignments in the division.
“I have been working on my boxing for the past six months because I have been training a lot more in Muay Thai the last few years,” Zhang said.
“As a result, my boxing still needs work. So for me, this six-month break worked out well.”
The 22-year-old from Beijing has competed 62 times since transitioning to professional kickboxing in 2015. Earlier this year, he joined ONE Super Series and promptly went on a run of three consecutive victories in a matter of months.
Last February, Zhang scored a split decision victory over Kong Sambo. He followed that up last May by topping Panicos Yusuf before cementing his status as a top title contender by knocking out Tyler Hardcastle in the first round.
Now, he has the opportunity to be able to wrap ONE Championship gold around his waist, should he be victorious against Ramazanov.
“I have always wanted to become a ONE World Champion since I joined ONE Championship,” Zhang said.
“I have been eyeing a shot at the World Title. I have waited a year for this chance, and now, it is finally here. I will not waste this opportunity.”
Training out of the Shengli Fight Club, “Muay Thai Boy” always knew competing was in his blood. His grandfather, father, and brother were all professional athletes, and all serve as reasons for Zhang to do what he does today.
“I want to achieve the goal I have set for myself,” Zhang said about winning a World Title.
“I also fight for my family because they have supported me unconditionally since the start of my career. I want to repay them with a World Title.”
If he wins, China will have its first ONE Super Series champion.
“I will not waste this opportunity,” he said.
“My fans are also looking forward to me winning the World Title. Even if it was not a World Championship match, my supporters just want to see me compete because it has been half-a-year since I last competed.”