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Walter Goncalves Plans On Going To War With Superlek in GP Semis

LockerRoom Team
Calendar Icon31 May 2022

Walter Goncalves had pressure on his shoulders ahead of his ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Grand Prix quarterfinal match at ONE 157: Petchmorakot vs. Vienot on Friday, 20 May, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. 

The Brazilian striker was on a two-fight skid coming into the event, and he was determined to show that he deserved his spot in the illustrious tournament. 

Goncalves was originally slated to face top-ranked flyweight Muay Thai contender Jonathan “The General” Haggerty. He would have served as a perfect opponent to achieve that goal against, but the British star had to pull out due to medical issues, so in stepped Josue Cruz to replace him. 

Despite the last-minute change, Goncalves’ goal remained the same, and his performance against ONE’s first-ever Mexican Muay Thai athlete exhibited just how dangerous the 23-year-old is. 

Goncalves scored the only knockout of the tournament's opening round, and he needed just 35 seconds to do it. The Brazilian striker opened the bout with a measured approach, cautiously establishing distance between himself and his opponent. Then, when the time was right, he swiftly closed the gap and landed a hook to Cruz’s body that dropped him to the canvas. 

The Mexican debutant was unable to recover, and Goncalves earned his first win in the Circle and a place in the Grand Prix semifinals – which he can now prepare for unscathed. 

“It's an advantage indeed not to get hurt at all. And on [the following] Monday, I was already going back to training to get ready for the next fight," Goncalves said.

"This is a world-class [Grand Prix], so you never know who's really going to win. I would say it's the most confident and the most prepared I've ever been. I'm very confident and prepared. So, I don't want to make predictions. I just want to go there and show them what I can do."

Goncalves will face Thai striking sensation Superlek Kiatmoo9 in the semifinals after “The Kicking Machine” scored a dominant unanimous decision victory over Japan’s Taiki “Silent Sniper” Naito in their quarterfinal showdown.  

The new #5-ranked flyweight Muay Thai star has a lot of respect for his next opponent, but he’s eager to take him en route to the tournament’s coveted silver belt. 

“I have been waiting for this fight. Now I have the win and am ready for more. I am a big fan of Superlek, but we are going to war. It’s what we have to do,” Goncalves said. 

“Now you know who Walter Goncalves is. It's time to talk about [me] and how dangerous I am. Because I came here to win, and it's my time now.” 

Watch ONE 158: Tawanchai vs. Larsen live on Disney+ Hotstar or Star Sports Select 2., beginning with the lead card at 3 p.m. India Standard Time (IST) on Friday, 3 June. The main card broadcasts live on Disney+ Hotstar and Star Sports Select 2 at 6 p.m. IST.  


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