“I’ve never been concerned about punching power. I don’t care” - Kwon Won Il brushes off KO threat from Kevin Belingon

Kwon Won Il (left) Kevin Belingon (right) [Photo: ONE Championship]
Kwon Won Il (left) Kevin Belingon (right) [Photo: ONE Championship]
Atilano Diaz

‘Pretty Boy’ Kwon Won Il is heading into his toughest test yet inside the Circle. If he can get past his next opponent, the doors of opportunity will no doubt open up for the 26-year-old South Korean.

Kwon Won Il will face former undisputed ONE bantamweight world champion and current No. 2-ranked bantamweight contender Kevin ‘The Silencer’ Belingon. The two are set to square off in the co-main event of ONE: Winter Warriors II, a previously recorded event from the Singapore Indoor Stadium set to broadcast via tape delay on Friday, December 17.

Speaking to ONE Championship in a recent interview, Kwon Won Il detailed what beating Belingon will mean for his career.

“I know that there are many great athletes in the top five, but if I beat Kevin Belingon, who was the previous champion, I think I am more qualified than any other athlete to be the next contender. I believe Belingon is still in his prime right now. All the opponents I’ve gone up against so far were all champions that I think are in their primes, so that gives me the entitlement to compete for the world title by defeating them.”

Against Belingon, Kwon Won Il faces a two-fisted monster, capable of ending fights within seconds when he has opponents hurt. Belingon is hands down one of the most devastating finishers in the promotion.

Despite that, Kwon Won Il isn’t fazed one bit by Belingon’s knockout threat. Instead, he’s confident he has what it takes to thwart the Filipino firecracker’s powerful advances.

“He’s tough. He’s strong. He has strong punches. He has a good kick – he is someone who’s good at striking. And he’s also someone with a lot of experience. [But] I’ve never been concerned about punching power. I don’t care. Because I believe, when it comes to a punch, it’s more about the timing than the power. Whether my punch takes out my opponent or my opponent’s punch takes me out, it will all come down to what happens during the competition. So that’s all I care about and focus on.”

Kwon Won Il wants to make a statement by finishing Belingon

While Belingon is a bonafide knockout artist, Kwon Won Il isn’t too shabby himself. The South Korean ‘Pretty Boy’ has seven knockouts in nine wins to his name. Breaking it down even further, six of those seven came in the first few seconds of the opening round.

Belingon says he will finish Kwon Won Il, but the Seoul native thinks it will be the other way around.

“He can say whatever he likes because, in a competition, it’s not about what you say about your opponent or talking about who is the better one. Regardless of what my opponent might claim, I’m not bothered because I’m just going to be myself and prove myself through my actions. I hope he proves his words with his actions inside the Circle.
“I always believe in myself. While in the Circle, I believe I am stronger than my opponents, [but] I don’t know how I will win until I am there in a real bout. If I get the chance, then I’ll KO him. If I don’t, then I will prepare myself so that I can win from the judges.”

Edited by Harvey Leonard
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