Former ONE Lightweight World Champion Kotetsu “No Face” Boku keeps on winning at featherweight.
On Saturday, 5 August, the Japanese veteran survived a few early scares to defeat Eric “The Natural” Kelly via third-round TKO at ONE: KINGS AND CONQUERORS from the Cotai Arena in Macao.
In round one, Boku pressed forward and initiated a brawl, however it was “No Face” who would take the most damage. After Kelly utilized leg kicks to create distance, he threw a monstrous overhand right hook, which crumpled his Japanese rival to the canvas.
“The Natural” took advantage of the knockdown and brought the action to the ground for the majority of the stanza. However, Boku recovered with less than two minutes remaining, and began to pour on a flurry of strikes, eventually catching his Filipino counterpart with a stiff kick to the gut to end the round.
In the second stanza, the Japanese veteran continued to press forward and attack Kelly with another flurry of strikes. An overhand right forced Kelly to take “No Face” down, as Boku’s striking was proving more and more superior as time progressed.
When the bout was stood up, the Filipino turned things around with another overhand right, which knocked Boku to the canvas in similar fashion to the knockdown in the previous round.
Once again, Boku recovered quickly, and caught “The Natural” with a heavy hook to the body, which caused Kelly to go for a sloppy takedown. Boku then took advantage of a fatigued Kelly, with ground and pound strikes and various submission attempts.
Boku remained light on his feet in the final stanza, and continued to capitalize against a gassed Kelly. When the Baguio City, Philippines native attempted to bring the match back to the ground, the Japanese athlete took his back and threw three undefended strikes before the referee called the match off.
With Boku’s impressive win, he improves his record to 26-11-2, and continues his rebirth at featherweight. Kelly’s loss sends him back to the drawing board with a record of 12-4 and a three-fight skid.