Saiful 'The Vampire' Merican (centre) with other muay thai fighters at the press conference announcing Evolution 27.
PETALING JAYA: Saiful “The Vampire” Merican has 16 years of fight experience in muay thai.
And that’s what he’ll be counting on as he faces the toughest challenge of his career when he takes on Australia’s No. 1 fighter Daniel “Daddy Kool” Beauchamp in the Evolution 27 at the One World Hotel Imperial Ballroom later this month.
The duo will compete in the below 61kg category super fight consisting of five rounds on May 31.
The 26-year-old Saiful, whose real name is Khairul Anuar Rosli, will be giving away 8cm in height as he is only 167cm tall compared to Beauchamp, who stands at 175cm.
“The challenge will be on me to give my best against the Australian, who is also an experienced muay thai exponent,” said Saiful, who is from Setiu, Terengganu, at a press conference on Wednesday.
Saiful pointed out that although he began his career in muay thai, he has been focusing more on mixed martial arts of late.
“I haven’t competed in a muay thai fight for the last six months ... since facing China’s Li Ning in the Fight for Peace in Manila last October,” said Saiful, who will be trained by Thai coach Petdan for the Evolution.
“But I don’t expect any problem psyching myself up for one of the biggest fights of my career against ‘Daddy Kool’. I have exactly one month to prepare for the fight ... the Australian is good with his elbow and punches, so I must be careful,” added Saiful, who owns the Merican Muay Thai Gym in Solaris Mount Kiara.
Two other Malaysians – Faizal Ramli and Ali Yaakub – will also feature at the Evolution 27, which will be staged for the first time in Malaysia.
There will be six muay thai fights, with the main bout between Frank Paredes Vilchez against Tony Bulgaria in the below 65kg category.
The other fights are Ali Yaakub versus Ghot Seur Noi (below 58kg category); Jom Kitti versus Vahid Sor Keawsuek (below 65kg); Kai Chee versus Vesul (below 72kg); and Faizal Ramli versus Bruce Macfie (below 75kg).
Alex Phang, managing director of Elite Boxing Malaysia, believes that Malaysia will benefit from hosting the first Evolution event to be held outside of Australia.
For ticket reservations, call (016) 550-5664 or log on to www.evolution27.com.