By Jun Ray Navarres
Once was enough. Twice is unbearable.
Rising star Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang remembered his late mother prior to his return to the ONE Circle as he faces China’s “Wolf of the Grasslands” Hexigetu on January 22 as curtain raiser of ONE: UNBREAKABLE at Singapore Indoor Stadium.
2020 had gone haywire for Adiwang as he saw two ends – one was the conclusion of his seven-fight win streak and the other was the passing of his mother Leticia just before the end of the year. She suffered from multiple strokes since 2016 and passed away on December 30.
“There is nothing a mother wants more than to see her child happy and successful. I know my mother loved me so much, and she just really didn’t want me to get hurt, which is why she didn’t fully accept me being a fighter with her whole heart,” reminisced Adiwang.
“But I chose this career, and I believe she was happy to see me succeed in what I love to do. I know in my heart she is proud of me, and I will continue to live my life in her honor.”
Adiwang has been thankful for the support that his stablemates were showing to him. Led by head coach Mark Sangiao, the team mustered for a few days to attend the funeral service.
“My teammates have always been there for me. They’ve supported me through the hardest times. I am very lucky to have a good support system,” said Adiwang.
As a form of gratitude, Adiwang is looking for a right start for himself and for the team by applying the experiences 2020 has bestowed upon him.
“I am more motivated now than ever to achieve my goals, and apply the lessons I learned in 2020, especially. I know I have to prove myself to the world again, to earn the people’s trust,” said Adiwang.
“Nothing has changed in my mindset… I’m climbing to the top. If anything, I just got more motivated and driven. I want to prove myself in this next fight, and to do that, I have to be at my best,”
As a fighter, the strong-willed Adiwang left it all to God while he just focused on being the better version of himself.
“I think everything happens for a reason. My setbacks today will be what makes me a better fighter for tomorrow. All the hard work I’m putting in will pay off in God’s perfect time. I just want to thank everyone for their support in my darkest hour. The race has just begun for me, but I promise to finish strong,” concluded Adiwang.
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