Rising Muay Thai star Tyson Harrison ultimately came up short in his ONE Championship debut, but still announced himself in a big way at ONE Friday Fights 1: Nong-O vs. Ramazanov this past weekend.
“John Wayne Noi” showed no fear in the face of Muay Thai legend Seksan Or.Kwanmuang, but fell on the wrong side of a razor-thin split decision after a three-round slugfest at the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand on January 20.
Seksan is renowned on the Muay Thai circuit in Thailand for his relentless forward pressure, and Harrison met him in the middle from the opening bell.
The first round was fought in close quarters, as the pair mostly traded punches with Harrison seemingly getting the better of the early exchanges – owing to his superior height and reach.
Seksan eventually settled, and the back-and-forth action continued to the bell in a difficult round to score.
Harrison had his best moments in round two, as he appeared to find his range.
The Corporate Box Gym product rocked Seksan, sending the Thai superstar stumbling back to the ropes and forcing him to cover up – a rare sight in a Seksan fight – as Harrison unloaded heavy punches in an attempt to close the show.
Seksan soon recovered and fired back in typical fashion, although the round belonged to Harrison.
The third round was Seksan’s best of the fight, as the Or.Kwanmuang representative ploughed forward with his trademark pressure and appeared to unsettle Harrison.
Harrison gave as good as he got however and although the damage started to show on his face, Harrison remained undeterred all the way to the final bell.
The decision could well have gone either way but in the end, it was Seksan whose hand was raised, to the dismay of a visibly disappointed Harrison.
Seksan – on his 34th birthday – was also rewarded with a US$50,000 performance bonus for his victory, courtesy of ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong.
While Harrison didn’t take the win back to Tor.Sangtiennoi Gym – where he now lives and trains – the 22-year-old put in an unforgettable performance on debut, and will now be a recognisable face among the ONE fanbase.
With ONE committed to running weekly shows at Lumpinee Stadium throughout 2023, there will be plenty of opportunity for the young star to stay active and make a name for himself on the global stage.