Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, will play host to a night of pivotal combat sports on Saturday, 10th June, when ONE Championship returns with ONE Fight Night 11: Eersel vs. Menshikov, and the promotion’s bantamweight division could see a major overhaul after one particular battle.
Fifth-ranked contender Artem Belakh and No. 4-ranked Kwon Won Il will meet smack in the middle of the star-studded card in a clash that will see both men vie to push further up the standings and closer to a shot at divisional king Fabricio “Wonder Boy” Andrade.
While he may only be one bout into his ONE Championship tenure, Artem Belakh made no bones about announcing himself to the weight bracket by taking out former ONE world title challenger Leandro Issa at ONE 162: Zhang vs. Di Bella in his debut last October.
The win was the Russian powerhouse’s tenth overall in his career and extended his unbeaten streak to three.
His victory may have come via a unanimous decision nod from the judges that evening, but going the distance is a rare occurrence for Belakh. In fact, it was the first time in his professional career that a contest went all three rounds – the rest of his record constitutes seven submission wins and two knockouts.
The Tiger Muay Thai representative will be hoping to add to that impressive slate on 10th June, but it will surely be challenged by the man standing opposite him.
Fan favorite Kwon has long been a promotional stalwart at bantamweight, with the South Korean winning four of his last five bouts by knockout. The only bump in the road on that journey was to reigning bantamweight king Andrade at ONE 158 last June.
Kwon emphatically returned to winning ways against Mark Abelardo at ONE 163 in November, and he’ll be itching to continue that against Belakh in the hopes of getting a chance to avenge his to “Wonder Boy.”
Given the finishing abilities of both men, fans will be anticipating a raucous matchup when they meet in Bangkok at ONE Fight Night 11. And with so much on the line, this is a bantamweight banger that cannot be missed.