"I grew up watching these people" - Johan Ghazali thrilled to compete alongside idols Tawanchai and Rodtang at ONE 167

(From left) Tawanchai PK Saenchai, Johan Ghazali, Rodtang Jitmuangnon.
(From left) Tawanchai PK Saenchai, Johan Ghazali, Rodtang Jitmuangnon.

Johan Ghazali is just weeks away from competing alongside some of his all-time idols at ONE 167 on June 7.

That evening, the 17-year-old Muay Thai phenom faces Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat in a flyweight Muay Thai fixture.

And as soon as he gets that out of the way, the Sarawak-based athlete will keep a close eye on Tawanchai PK Saenchai and Rodtang Jitmuangnon's fights inside the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.

The Rentap Muaythai Gym athlete has been a fan of both ONE world champions from his days in the amateur circuit.

He could never imagine meeting them, never mind sharing the same card with them. However, his run of victories has presented him with a golden opportunity to compete alongside them, and he simply cannot wait for fight night to come next week.

Speaking to Sportsmanor, Johan Ghazali said:

"I was shocked. It's cool to see me fighting on the same card as Tawanchai and Rodtang, and all these well-known legendary fighters."
"It's cool, you know. I grew up watching these people."

Watch the clip here:


At ONE 167, Rodtang takes on Denis Puric in a flyweight kickboxing encounter. Meanwhile, Tawanchai's ONE featherweight Muay Thai world title defense against Jo Nattawut will serve as the headline attraction.

Active Amazon Prime Video subscribers in North America can catch the entire card live and for free in U.S. primetime next Friday, June 7.

Chatri Sityodtong backs Johan Ghazali for success in ONE Championship

At just 17 years old, the Malaysian-American athlete has already got his ONE Championship tenure off to a perfect 5-0, with four of those coming by way of knockout.

Not only fighters and analysts are predicting big things for Johan Ghazali in the future. Even ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong believes the young star has what it takes to become one of the leading stars on the roster.

Sityodtong told ONE previously:

"The very first time I saw 'Jojo' fight, I messaged our matchmaker for ONE Friday Fights. I told him, 'Sign this guy.' World championship talent is very important but there also has to be an X-factor, and Jojo has it."
"He potentially could be the next Rodtang, if he stays humble and hungry."

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