Hiroaki Suzuki Still Has Dreams Of Becoming ONE World Champion
Earlier this year, Hiroaki Suzuki had the opportunity to become the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion when he faced off against Nong-O Gaiyanghadao at ONE: WARRIORS OF LIGHT.
The 34-year-old from Japan was unsuccessful that evening, but he remains hopeful to one day wear that title.
Suzuki will try to get back on track when he takes on Tukkatatong Petpayathai on 8 November at ONE: MASTERS OF FATE from the Mall of Asia Arena. The event takes place from Manila, Philippines.
The journey from Aichi, Japan to the top of ONE Championship has been a tough one for Suzuki.
“At age 15, I left home and started living in a karate school,” Suzuki said.
“I decided not to go to high school and I became an apprentice. I decided in my heart that I would make a life with karate. Of course, my family was against my decision. They kept telling me to go to high school.”
Suzuki would spend several months living in a storage room, battling the elements just to survive the tough times.
“There was no shower or heating,” Suzuki said.
“I slept there even if it was a cold winter. I only took a shower twice a week and I would wash myself with cold water outside.”
Despite all of that, Suzuki was doing what he loved: karate. But eventually, that would not be enough to keep him going.
“My heart was full,” he said.
“My life was difficult without having enough money and I had to quit karate when I was 20 since I had too much debt. It was the hardest time of my life. After I returned home, I started working, but I could not forget about martial arts in my heart.”
That is when Suzuki came upon a shoot boxing gym that would bring him back to training.
“I decided to practice hard and become a professional martial artist,” Suzuki said.
“It is not karate, but martial arts values are the same. I want to become a Japanese champion. As a professional martial artist, I saw the world. My goal as a professional martial artist is to make a life with martial arts and to be successful on the global stage.”
Suzuki owns a career record of 42-12 in kickboxing, including victories earlier this year in ONE Championship over Deividas Danyla and Mohammad Bin Mahmoud.
ONE: MASTERS OF FATE features Joshua Pacio defending his ONE Strawweight World Title against top contender Rene Catalan.