MALAYSIAN featherweight sensation Keanu Subba has built a solid mixed martial arts resume since his ONE Championship debut in 2015.
Over the years, the 24-year-old has grown from an unknown hero to one of the division’s most exciting young talents.
It came after years of training, hard work, determination, and grit – all made better by a man who he describes as his all-time hero, his father, Papa Subba.
“My dad has played a huge role in my career as a martial artist,” the Kuala Lumpur-based athlete shared ahead of Father’s Day on Sunday, 16 June.
“He's always been our number supporter. He believed in us before we even started competing, and that just shows you his character.”
The day is special to Keanu and his older brother Gianni because it reminds them of the great figure they have at home, as well as sitting at ringside every time they compete.
After all, had it not been for their father, Malaysia’s finest mixed martial arts siblings might not have been on this path towards greatness.
“My dad enrolled us in taekwondo when we were 8 and 10. I remember when I first learned Muay Thai, my dad would pay for my taxi fares and gym fees to travel all the way to Ampang,” Keanu explained.
“He’s shaped me into the man I am today. He always reminds me that I need to be consistent and disciplined to achieve something in life.”
Keanu has brilliantly taken those words of advice and support to finish six world-class opponents in the world’s largest martial arts organization.
Whether in victory or defeat, his father is always there to support, cheer, and comfort them.
“He told us that there’s always ups and downs, but you just have to be consistent and stay focused to achieve your goal,” he said.
“He always tells us how proud he is as a father, but I believe we have more to achieve, and I hope that I can continue to make him proud.”
There is no set plan for what the Subbas are doing on Father’s Day, but Keanu said their best father-son bonding sessions always revolve around food and martial arts.
“The best way we spend time with our dad is by eating and watching some fights,” he joked. “For this year’s Father’s Day, I wish him all the happiness and joy.”