Jonathan Di Bella Open to Fight Anyone Including Takeru – "The Strawweight Kickboxing Division Is Growing and I'm Very Excited for That"

Oct 08, 2023
The champion with his belt. Photo: ONE Championship
The Italian-Canadian champion has his eyes set on the next challenge.

ONE Strawweight kickboxing champion Jonathan Di Bella was in good spirits after comfortably beating "very tough" Danial Williams in yesterday's co-main event at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium. The 27-year-old moved to 12-0 and made his first successful title defense. The South China Morning Post and the rest of the attending media were especially curious about the future plans of the Italian-Canadian fighter. 

"I would fight anybody close to my weight". With Takeru's upcoming ONE Championship debut and Chatri Sityodtong hinting that Rodtang might not be the first choice, Di Bella also doesn't rule out a super-fight against the former K-1 champion, "If he can make 125 pounds, or we could do a catchweight at 130, for sure."

Coincidentally, the two had the opportunity to briefly train together a couple years back in Santa Monica, California. Di Bella had nothing but positive things to say about the Japanese star, “He's very cool. We did a light sparring. We still landed some shots, because light sparring with Takeru, it doesn't exist. He's very quick. He's good, he's very good.”

His only wish would be to fight back in the US, back where he started his career. As kickboxing is banned in many parts of Canada, the Montreal native's entire professional and amateur career went down in the States, for the most part in New York City.

"I see the Strawweight kickboxing division is growing and I'm very excited for that. There are options."

While ONE's Strawweight division was in a dire state for a long time, it considerably has picked up steam with quality additions such as Luca Cecchetti, Kompet, Prajanchai, Huo Xiaolong and Zhang Peimian showcasing their skills on the Friday Fights event series – all suitable contenders for Di Bella.