The last time Kevin Belingon won a fight the Singapore Indoor Stadium was packed to the rafters to see him eek out a split decision victory over Bibiano Fernandes. 2018 feels like a long time ago and a lot has changed in the last three years.
For starters Belingon has had a daughter and he says this has only added to his motivation,
“I’m truly motivated now. I have a kid to support, and that’s where the added fire and confidence stems from,” he said.
“If you have a fight, and then you think about having a family back home who’s there for you, you really want to do well for them. That’s the difference between being a single man to being a father and a husband. I think we can say that this is a new start for me.”
This will be his first fight of the year so Belingon has had plenty of time to spend with his family. At the age of 34 and on a three fight losing streak some fighters would think about calling it quits.
The thought has never crossed Belingon’s mind and he is determined to get back to winning ways,
“I feel like I’m a lot stronger, honestly. I’m only hungrier and more determined to bounce back after those losses. I’m still motivated. The fire is still there.”
Kwon is a young prospect who has some impressive finishes on his record. The Korean comes into this fight on a two fight winning skid and Belingon feels he has a point to prove,
“I want to prove that I’m a better striker than Kwon Won Il. I want to show the people that Kevin Belingon is far from done and I still have one more run in me at the title,” he said.
Belingon wants to prove that he is still a cut above young contenders like Kwon and would love to do so by putting the Korean away,
“I want to win, and I want to finish Kwon, whether it be KO, TKO, or submission. I expect a good fight. I expect fireworks. This will be a great fight, and I’ll do my best to get the win.”
Belingon’s recent losses have come at the hands of Bibiano Fernandes and John Lineker. They are bantamweight royalty but a bout with Kwon looks much more winnable.
That seems to be the way Belingon feels about things,
“I don’t want to belittle Kwon Won Il because he has good hands and great boxing, but I think I have a lot more in my arsenal. I believe my striking is better but I have to take note of his punches. We have a game plan prepared for him.”
The Filipino is known for his takedowns and ground and pound. He has the kicks in his arsenal that you would expect from a Team Lakay fighter but hints he might be looking to take Kwon down,
“I’m sure this match will be explosive on the feet, but don’t be surprised if I take it to the ground,” he said.
It has been a while since he last won but Belingon is not questioning himself,
“I’m ready. I’ve prepared well. My confidence is unshaken. I feel even after that loss that my confidence in myself remains strong,” he said.
He remains ranked at #2 while Kwon is not in the top five. Having not won in three years he is perhaps fortunate to be so high but it is a position Belingon is determined to defend,
“I’m more concerned about defending my position in the rankings. Right now I’m still at number two and I have to win in order to keep that.”