Sight of ONE title belt keeps Team Lakay's Kevin Belingon motivated
"Basta sakin, basta manalo lang ng manalo, darating din yun, yung opportunity na lalaban sa title." - Kevin Belingon (File Photo courtesy of ONE Championship)
When Kevin 'The Silencer' Belingon starched Fil-Aussie Reece McLaren via first round knockout at ONE Championship: Quest for Greatness in Kuala Lumpur back in August, the impression was that he'd be next in line to challenge reigning champ Bibiano Fernandes again for the bantamweight title.
Even Belingon himself though that was the next step.
"Pagkapanalo ko kay Reece, yun na yung pumasok inisip ko—na ibibigay na yung title shot. Inantay ko parin yung sasabihin ng ONE."
("When I beat Reece, that's what I thought, that they'd give me the title shot. I'm just waiting on what ONE says.")
It would have made sense, being that Belingon had won three straight, two of which coming via knockout.
Obviously, it wasn' the case, as Belingon is now set to take on highly-touted unbeaten prospect Kevin Chung at ONE: Legends of the World in Manila.
While others would be disappointed if put in the same situation, it makes little difference for Belingon, who says the sight of the serves as motivation enough.
"Hindi naman nagbabago [yung morale]." Belingon said. "Kasi basta andyan yung belt, yun yung goal ko eh. Pag nakikita ko yung belt, namomotivate pa ako, kasi gusto kong maging bantamweight champion."
("It doesn't affect my morale, as long as the belt is there, that's my goal. Everytime I see the belt, it motivates me even more because I want to become the bantamweight champion.")
Given that Team Lakay has a couple of championship belts displayed in their gym (which could become three, if everything goes their way, Friday night), it's safe to say that 'The Silencer' is motivated on a daily basis.
"Basta sakin, basta manalo lang ng manalo, darating din yun, yung opportunity na lalaban sa title."
("For me, if I just keep winning, and the opportunity to challenge for a title will come.")
Should that time come, it would be Belingon's second crack at a world title, with the Pinoy falling to Fernandes back in January of 2016.
All that's in the past now, and as Belingon works toward his fourth straight win, it doesn't really matter who's put in front of him. All he's worried about is getting better and winning.
"Sabi ko nga, yung belt, habang nakikita ko yun, talagang nammomotivate pa ako na mag-train ng mag-train para maimprove yung dapat maimprove, tapos palakasin yung dapat palaksin para makaharap yung champion at makuha yung belt. Kahit sino, basta manalo."
("Like I said, as long as I see the belt, I get even more motivated to keep training to improve what needs to be improved and strengthen what needs to be strengthened so that I'll eventually challenge the champion and get the belt. It doesn't matter who it is, just as long as I win.")
Before any thoughts of world title shots however, Belingon will need to take care of business agaisnt Chung in front of a pro-Pinoy hometown crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila.
Kevin Belingon puts his winning streak on the line against unbeaten Kevin Chung at ONE: Legends of the World on Friday, November 10th at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Catch the action LIVE, 8:30 PM on S+A channel 23!