Eduard “Landslide” Folayang is not ready to hang up his gloves just yet as he makes another run at the ONE Lightweight World Title, beginning with his high-profile showdown with Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES on August 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila.
The two will compete in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix semi-finals, where the winner of the tournament likely gets a title shot.
“Of course, I want to make another run at the World Title. Right now, I still feel like I’m at the top of the game,” Folayang said.
“The journey isn’t over for me yet. I know it’s going to be hard. I’m not expecting things to be easy. The ONE lightweight division is super stacked, so every challenge is a big challenge. To chase that World Title again is the plan. But right now, I have to deal with the monster in front of me. Eddie Alvarez is no easy task. I have to be at my best to win.”
In light of his rise to greatness and resiliency throughout his career, many Filipinos have likened Folayang to another sports hero, eight-division boxing world champion Manny Pacquiao. Like Pacquiao, Folayang overcame dire circumstances, powering his way through poverty to become a Filipino sports hero.
“Manny Pacquiao is an icon, a legend, and a hero,” Folayang said.
“To be compared to him is a huge honor for me. In reality, I am humble enough to admit I am nowhere near achieving what he has accomplished in his boxing career. If we do share something in common, it’s that we’re both very hungry because we came from poverty and extremely humble beginnings.
“Our faith in God is strong, and this gives us the strength to face any challenges that come our way.”
Even after capturing the ONE Lightweight World Title twice, Folayang continues to look up to Pacquiao for inspiration. After Pacquiao defeated Keith Thurman over the weekend, Folayang feels even more motivated to chase his dream of becoming champion once again.
Standing in his way, however, is Alvarez, who himself is chasing World Title glory.
“Even up to now, Manny still inspires me to push through with my career and chase my dreams,” Folayang said.
“His victory over Keith Thurman has inspired me to do my best in my next bout.”