Filipino striker Jeremy Miado is a man with something to prove.

He took just 80 seconds to dispatch multiple time Lumpinee champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke with a brutal knockout at ONE: ‘Iron Will’ in March last year.

But in advance of a rematch against Dejdamrong at ONE: ‘Call to Greatness’, he has had to contend with doubters who put his shock victory down to luck,

“Some people are saying it was a lucky shot, that I just got the timing right,” he says.

“I don’t want to defend myself from them. I understand why they think that, which is why I readily accepted this rematch.”

The provenance of the quote about practice being the thing that made a pro golfer luckier is unclear. But Miado probably subscribes to this theory,

“They are entitled to their opinions, but for me, whenever I have an upcoming match, I prepare for it to the best of my abilities to show what I can do. That’s how I have always been, win or lose, I give my everything out there,” he says.

Mixed fortunes

Miado has enjoyed mixed fortunes in the 11 months that have passed since that night, losing a decision against Kritsada Kongsrichai at ONE: ‘Spirit of a Warrior’ in his next fight in Yangon in June.

In what was a tough battle for both fighters, Kongsrichai secured a points victory by repeatedly forcing the fight to the mat, where his wrestling pedigree gave him the edge over the lanky Filipino.

For Miado, that setback was followed by an emotional TKO victory over Chinese wrestler Peng Xue Wen at November’s ONE: ‘Conquest of Champions’, just days after the death of his father.

That night Miado was able to impose his style on the battle, with flurries of punches that led referee Yuji Shimada to stop the fight 35 seconds into its second round.

Firmly focused

Miado’s attention is now firmly focused on his returning Thai opponent, who is unlikely to be intimidated by his solid boxing and Muay Thai background,

“I know that Dej really wants to avenge that loss and is really preparing well for this match. Let’s see who will come out on top this time around,” he says.

No-one could have possibly predicted how fast the first fight should finish. But Miado thinks the sudden nature of the knockout made it imperative that Dejdamrong should be offered the opportunity to avenge his latest loss,

“I do want to give him a chance to prove himself in the cage because it really happened so fast. I am doubling the effort of my preparation now compared to last time because I know that he won’t be the same person that I competed against,” he says.

The long game

The Jaguar is preparing for the battle to go the distance if necessary, knowing that his opponent still has stamina despite having recently turned 40,

“He will surely be motivated to avenge his loss, so I need to be ready in all angles be it on the ground or against his striking. I’m putting extra focus on conditioning because he doesn’t get tired easily,” Miado says.

“I’m looking for a knockout or decision. The goal is to win, no matter what,” he adds.

Miado brings a passion to his fighting career that has garnered him a growing fanbase in the Philippines,

“I’m just excited to compete again, to show everyone what I can do. You can expect that this will be an exciting match between two skilled strikers, and we’ll show who the best striker is in our division.”

Role model

The Filipino star has big ambitions. Perhaps they stem from his early admiration for Manny Pacquiao, who, like Miado, grew up in poverty in his home country.

“He was my idol,” Miado said last year, when talking of his tough tough early life as the third of four siblings in a farming family in the Philippines’ Albay province.

“I wanted to be just like him. Along with everyone else, I began boxing. I had dreams of being just as successful, and it motivated me.”

While Miado built a solid amateur record, he soon realised that it was through the cage that he stood the best chance of building a future for himself and his family.

“I competed professionally on a couple of small shows, and learned that I could make some money. It was not much, but it was enough for me to make an impact on my family’s financial situation. I was also able to pay for my college tuition, which I am forever grateful for.”

Well qualified

With a degree in criminology under his belt thanks to his income from fighting, the Jaguar has options and formerly planned a career as a police officer. His dream now, however, is nothing short of becoming world champion.

If things go to plan against his upcoming Thai foe, a shot at a strawweight world title could be on the cards for Miado. Whatever happens, he won’t be leaving anything to chance when it comes to training and preparation,

“I believe that it will happen if I get the win against Dej. Hopefully, I get to compete against one of the top contenders for the world title, but right now, I’m only focused on my match against Dej. Still, no matter who I face next, I will still prepare for it well.”