The 28-year-old Australian beat Thai fighter Duangdaonoi Looksaikongdin in a hard fought three-round 52.2kg bout at Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok. Duangdaonoi controlled the distance in the first round but Celeste stepped up her game in the second round and had the better of proceedings by the final round, eventually emerging as the winner on a points decision.
The victory means Celest, who trains at Phuket Singha Muaythai Gym in Chalong, advances to the final at Lumpinee Stadium on Oct 29 where she will meet Thai fighter Lomannee, who won her semi-final last Saturday against compatriot Gamlaipetch Petchyindee.
Should Celest win the fina fight against Lomannee then she will have secured a professional six-fight contract worth US$100,000 (B3.7 million) with Asia powerhouse sports property ONE Championship.
“I felt amazing after the fight, over the moon,” an elated Celest told The Phuket News shortly after her semi-final triumph.
“I want to be a ONE Championship athlete more than anything in the world and then go on to become a ONE Championship world champion,” she added.
“While I am delighted right now with the win I am also fully aware that there is still one big step to go before I can realise my dream and that is the final fight against Lomannee on October 29. She is a tough fighter and it will be a big challenge but I will train harder than I ever have before to ensure I am fully prepared to give myself the best possible chance of winning.”
“I’m just so grateful to have the opportunity and to be going into the final fight,” Celest added.
“I’d like to thank Fairtex Fight for this amazing opportunity which can allow people’s dreams to come true. You guys are an amazing promotion so thank you to everyone who is involved.
“Also a huge thank you to my coach Kru Pat, Nantaporn Opor Nutcharas and Kru Nart from Phuket Singha Muaythai Gym for taking such good care of me, for training me so very hard and making me a better, stronger fighter every day - I appreciate you very much and thank you for believing in me.”
The Oct 29 final fight will be the culmination of a three-fight series as part of the Fairtex Fight Road to ONE competition. Celest won her first fight at Lumpinee Stadium on Aug 13 against Phetsinin Sor Phuangthong in style, knocking her opponent to the ground twice before delivering a devastating TKO in round 2.
Celest clearly feels comfortable fighting at Lumpinee Stadium, a venue previously off limits to women. Indeed, she made history at the famed stadium by becoming the first ever female to set foot in its ring when she fought Kullanat Ornok there on Nov 13 last year after the authorities reversed their policy on women fighters.
“When I said I wanted to be the first woman to fight at Lumpinee Stadium people laughed at me and said that was never going to happen,” she said. It did and she changed a lot of people’s opinions and attitudes in the process.
“I hope by the end of my career I have helped change the sport for women for the better so that no one has to go through the challenges I have faced - being told women can’t fight, having limited opportunities and so on,” she says. “It would be nice for the next generation not to have to contend with all that.”
A trailblazer, Celest is focused, determined, driven and talented with the next step on her journey well and truly in her sights. Oct 29th is her date with destiny and, make no mistake, she is ready.