Nineteen months ago Joseph Lasiri shocked the world when he defeated Prajanchai for the ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Title, now their long-awaited rematch is confirmed at ONE’s final show of 2023.
Italian Moroccan Lasiri faced a tough start to his ONE career, losing on each of his first four outings in the organisation, but rallied to secure a title shot with three impressive wins in his next four contests including the knockout of Asahi Shinagawa.
Since that night, the two men’s careers have taken very different paths. 32-year-old Lasiri has only fought on one occasion – an unsuccessful attempt at becoming a two-weight world champion when he took on Rodtang for the featherweight crown. His November 2022 unanimous decision loss was by no means a disgrace given the level of competition, but now having been out of the ring more than a year will be a cause for concern among his supporters in the MENA region.
On the other hand Prajanchai has been doing all he can to get back to the top of the strawweight mountain. Three consecutive wins, including last time out against Algeria’s Akram Hamidi, albeit in a kickboxing bout, have him knocking on the door of the champion. A win over Sam-A Gaiyanghadao gave Prajanchai the interim title, now it is time to crown a unified strawweight division champion.
The two will now face off one again at ONE Friday Fights 46: Tawanchai vs. Superbon on December 22.
Lasiri will be keen to show his all action performance in their first bout was no fluke, with Prajanchai will be hoping that was just a bad night at the office, and his reign at the top of the super-competitive strawweight division is about to resume.