Cyprus Mail

‘I’m just getting warmed up,’ says Cyprus Muay Thai star Michael

Savvas Michael (right) in action [Photo Credit: ONE Championship]

By Timothy Wheaton
At ONE 157, the ONE Muay Thai Flyweight Grand Prix hosted the Savvas Michael vs. Amir Naseri contest. Cypriot Michael dominated the bout with a near-flawless performance and will next face the winner of Rodtang Jitmuangnon vs. Jacob Smith.

‘The Baby Face Killer’ had a slight height advantage. He has held Muay Thai titles in WMC and WBC. His opponent, Naseri, entered this bout on a five-fight win streak and his lone loss in the last five years was to Muay Thai legend Saenchai.

Michael beat Naseri via unanimous decision and will advance to the next round of the Grand Prix.

Following his impressive victory, Michael said: “I’m just getting warmed up! This was just a warm up.”
Savvas took some time off after his last fight, and in the post-fight interview, he stated: “After my last loss… broke my heart, broke my hand… I’ve been doing this for 17 years. It breaks my heart with this sport. I’m growing up as a man in this sport. For a whole year, I knew I had to work on my weaknesses.”

Naseri opened round one by throwing a series of leg kicks against his opponent. The Iranian-Malaysian fighter came forward aggressively, but Michael countered with better-placed punches. The Cypriot then landed a headkick towards the end of the round. He clearly won the round through his aggression.

In round two, Michael was able to land a headkick and straight kick which sent Naseri reeling back. When Naseri attempted to enter striking range, his opponent countered with precise and powerful strikes. In seemingly every exchange, Savvas was landing better, faster, and with more power.

ONE Championship commentator Mitch Chilson said: “Savvas Michael is too clean, too precise, and putting on a good show.”

In round three, Michael landed a thunderous one-two combination which visibly rattled his opponent. The Cypriot stayed relaxed and did not rush forward. Instead, he continued to pick Naseri apart. Perhaps realising that he was down on the scorecards, Naseri pushed forward but was unable to find a home for his strikes.

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