Vietnam's world boxing champ to fight Mexican opponent

By Duc Dong   October 25, 2023 | 03:22 pm PT
Reigning IBA world champion Tran Van Thao will be challenged by Mexico's Kenbun Torres in the 54kg category at the WBO Global Title Match next month.
Boxer Tran Van Thao. Photo courtesy of Tran Van Thao

Boxer Tran Van Thao. Photo courtesy of Tran Van Thao

The fight will take place at The Grand Ho Tram resort in Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province on Nov. 28.

The event will include six matches with 12 boxers from 10 countries. Thao's return to the ring after a long period of absence promises to be one of the evening's highlights.

Thao will fight Mexican boxer Kenbun Torres in his first match since he defeated Philippines' Andrew Laurio in September 2022 to become the first Vietnamese male boxer to win the IBA (International Boxing Association) world championship belt.

Thao has had 16 fights, winning 15 (10 by knockout) and losing one. He was called the "Vietnamese Mayweather" after becoming the first Vietnamese boxer to win the WBC Asian belt in 2017. Torres has 16 fights and 12 wins (nine by knockout).

"I have prepared very carefully for this match," Thao told the press on Tuesday. "The opponent is very strong, but with the support of the home fans, hopefully I will use that advantage to win."

Another highlight of the event will be China’s DianXing Zhu defending the WBO global minimumweight belt (47.5kg) against Thai challenger Sanchai Yotboon.

Zhu has an impressive record with 10 victories, including 9 knockouts, after only 11 fights. The 27-year-old boxer is China's number one in this weight class and ranked 12th in the world.

Newer Vietnamese boxer Thai Hoang Huy, who has four wins (two by knockout) and one loss, will also compete at Grand Ho Tram.

Huy's opponent is Maobi Ngaka, a boxer from Botswana who has only fought four matches with two wins, one draw and one loss. This is a promising match as Huy, originally a Muay Thai fighter, possesses a diverse set of skills, while Ngaka is also a formidable opponent often called "The Eagle of Botswana."

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