ONE: Adiwang wants rematch vs Minowa

Team Lakay’s Lito Adiwang. ONE CHAMPIONSHIP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Lito Adiwang was on a seemingly unstoppable rise in ONE Championship’s strawweight division dealing with enemies left, right, and center.

That seven-fight winning streak, however, ended when Adiwang suffered a split decision loss to Hiroba Minowa in ONE: Inside the Matrix III on November 11 at Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Adiwang was one of the promotion’s biggest prospects with four of his first five fights ending via either knockout or knockout.

The Thunder Kid nearly added another submission victory to his resume when he appeared to lock a Kimura in the first round which some observers believe made the Japanese tap.

That motion, however, was never recorded and Adiwang acknowledges that he can’t do anything about the result.

“A lot of fans told me they noticed he tapped in the first round. I’m not going to say anything except that I am asking for a rematch so we can close the case. The best way to end the speculation is by having a rematch,” said Adiwang.

“I respect him a lot. He has the skill and the talent. But he’s not the strongest fighter I have faced. I just made some key mistakes that led to an undesirable result.”

Adiwang, who is already back home in the Baguio City, is determined to use the loss as a learning experience.

“I learned a lot from that fight alone. I will come back from this a much better fighter. I think this loss is actually a blessing I can look back on. I know I can’t leave the decision in the judges’ hands. Lesson learned,” said Adiwang.

“It’s still a setback. Honestly, I didn’t see it coming. I fully expected to win. But looking at the big picture, it’s a positive thing. It’s valuable experience

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Ireland need to be accurate and assertive against dominant England at Twickenham

The only way to stand up to a fearless opposition is to put pressure on them. Bully them. Take the fight to them. Be more clinical with the ball in hand. Tighter in defence. Stay focused for 80 minutes.

It may appear to be an arduous task, but Ireland need to be accurate and assertive when they face England on Saturday, having leaked over 100 points in the last three matches against their rivals.

In two of the last three fixtures, England’s physicality came to the fore as they bullied Ireland all over the pitch, controlling the collisions and breakdown.

The Men in Green’s attack struggled to cope with England’s line speed and this is something that cannot be repeated again at Twickenham.

Even with new faces promoted to the team, Ireland cannot afford to be mentality fragile. Ronan Kelleher, Caelan Doris, Will Connors, Hugo Keenan, Jamison Gibson-Park and James Lowe have all been capped this year, players that represent hope plus ambition ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Mixing new blood with ageing stars is important. Keith Earls is 32. Peter O’Mahony 31. Cian Healy 33. Conor Murray 31. Jonny Sexton 35. Most of these seasoned campaigners may not be around come rugby’s global showpiece in three years’ time.

These men have done a lot for Irish rugby over the years but there are no guarantees in professional sport, especially with the level of talent flooding through the international ranks.

The young players introduced by either Joe Schmidt or Andy Farrell are hungry and have tasted success before. They know the importance of a game like this. Know what it would mean to win. Four of this team – Jacob Stockdale, Andrew Porter, Keenan and Ryan – lost an U20 World Cup final to England four years ago.

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Pivotal period beckons for Joe Root as England prepare for blockbuster 2021 Test schedule

In less than two weeks’ time, Joe Root will take the field at Newlands for the first ODI between South Africa and England. It will be the first competitive game for the Englishman since September 20, when he scored a fine unbeaten 60 for Yorkshire at his home ground at Headingley.

While scoring runs in South Africa will take priority for the classy right-hander, his mind will already be drifting to a gruelling red-ball schedule coming up for England in 2021.

The red-ball skipper will have his hands full as England embark on a challenging mission which will see them play 15 Tests against India and Australia over the space of 12 months. Throw in a two-Test series in Sri Lanka plus potentially two Tests more against New Zealand in the mix and England’s red-ball squad are set to be kept incredibly busy.

This pivotal period could well be the defining chapter of Root’s captaincy, as well as his credentials as England’s greatest Test batsman in the making. As a 29-year-old, the classy right-hander is arguably entering his prime as a batsman. However, his career trajectory would suggest otherwise.

Statistically, the England talisman peaked very early into his Test career. From averaging over 57 in 2015 to his current 47, it has been a marked decline in the output from the Yorkshireman’s bat. His struggles to convert starts into big scores is well documented, and his last 33 Test appearances have yielded just a total of four centuries.

For a man who announced his arrival with a fighting 93 on debut against India in Nagpur (2012), the returns over the last three years or so have been somewhat of a bad dream. In 2019, he averaged just 37 with the bat after appearing in 12 Tests. If his glorious double

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