Bengaluru, October 7: Enriko Kehl will get another shot at the greatest striking tournament in kickboxing history at ONE: FIRST STRIKE - and this time he's more prepared than ever.
The German superstar takes on Davit Kiria in the quarterfinals of the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix on Friday, 15 October. It will be his second appearance in the elite tournament.
"It's a big honor to fight again in the tournament and an honor that ONE believes in me, so I took the chance," the 29-year-old said.
"I hope I can show the world that I'm one of the best fighters."
In the inaugural edition of the Grand Prix two years ago, Kehl suffered a tough loss to long-time foe Dzhabar Askerov. He did his best to sway the bout in his favor, but Askerov's power and precision were enough to convince the judges.
That defeat did not break "The Hurricane" Kehl's spirit, however. If anything, it proved to be a turning point as he went on to record back-to-back wins against Armen Petrosyan and Chingiz "Chinga" Allazov in ONE.
Coupled with the fact that he has found a new place to sharpen his tools, Kehl is certain that he can fight against the best strikers on the planet, especially the other seven men standing between him and the Grand Prix silver belt.
"Chingiz is one of the greatest fighters in the world, everybody knows it. That was a very good performance of mine. This was because I changed my team at the beginning of the year," the Trans4mer Mainz representative said.
"We worked very hard and, in my opinion, I made a big step forward in my performance, so I am looking forward to the tournament because my confidence is now very high, and I can't wait to step into the ring with the big names of the world again."
These big names, however, don't make his blood run cold. Instead, they have fired him up to a whole new level.
"The Hurricane" isn't too fussy whether the victory comes by knockout or decision. What matters most is that ticket into the last four, which will take him one step closer toward the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing Grand Prix World Title, and eventually the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Title.
"Our target is to win this fight by knockout, for sure. But knockout or not, the most important thing is to win this fight and get to the semifinals to show the world that we are there," he said.
"Then we can also continue to fight for the title."
Catch all the action from ONE: FIRST STRIKE live on Disney+ Hotstar or Star Sports Select 2 at 6 p.m. India Standard Time (IST) next Friday, 15 October. Alternatively, catch all the action live on the ONE Super App.
Source: Media Release