ONE Championship athlete Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang turned 27 on March 24, 2020. In time for his birthday, the Igorot mixed martial artist training out of Team Lakay in La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines talked about how Manny Pacquiao served as his role model.
“Growing up watching the rise of Manny Pacquiao, I was motivated to become a boxer just like him,” Adiwang shared. “I wanted to represent my country and make my people proud too. I wanted to help bring my family out of hardship and poverty.”
“There used to be an old church on the streets where I grew up, where I initially started to learn how to box,” Adiwang continued. “I was 12 years old at the time. I would shadowbox and imagine I was Manny Pacquiao, fighting against legends like Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera.”
“I loved his relentless style,” the Team Lakay fighter said of Pacquiao. “His opponents couldn’t handle him.”
Today, there are similarities in Adiwang’s dynamite-laden strikes and Pacquiao’s ferociousness. Just like the Filipino boxing legend, the Igorot MMA fighter features a relentless attack.
Adiwang throws punches with no caution and everything he comes forward with is packed with bout-ending power. The results have been absolutely stunning.
It is still early in Adiwang’s career and the possibilities are endless. Whether he goes down the path of Pacquiao remains to be seen but there is no denying that the ONE Championship fighter is traversing a similar road.
“To be even considered in the same breath as Manny, it’s such an honor,” Adiwang said. “If I can accomplish even a fraction of what he has in his career, I can consider my career a success.”
“Right now I’m just focused on being the best that I can be,” Adiwang continued. “I really want to prove myself against the best opponents and I feel I am ready.”
A ONE Warrior Series alum, Adiwang officially joined ONE Championship in 2019. He holds a professional MMA record of 11 wins and 2 losses.