Vietnamese boxer defeats Thai champ with one-punch KO

By Duc Dong   January 2, 2022 | 11:33 pm PT
Vietnamese boxer defeats Thai champ with one-punch KO
The referee announces Tran Van Thao (L) as the winner in his clash with Phayom Boonrueang in HCMC on Jan. 2, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Dong Huyen
Vietnam's Tran Van Thao enjoyed an easy bantamweight (54 kilo) win against Thailand's Phayom Boonrueang at a pro boxing event in HCMC Sunday.

Thao knocked out his Thai opponent with a right hand punch when the second round had 46 seconds left, prompting the WBA East Asia champion to admit defeat after nine consecutive wins.

"I was very surprised to win so early. It was fun and exciting," Thao said after the clash at Trigger Boxing Gym, his home turf in Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Phu District.

"I've studied Phayom Booreung's fighting style very carefully. He is fast and strong. So, when the match began, I tried to get close and earn the upper hand in the first round. My goal was to make him lose strength and dampen his fighting spirit in the first four rounds then see how things go from there. But I didn't expect to win so quickly."

Vietnam's Tran Van Thao defeats Thailand's Phayom Boonrueang in HCMC, January 2, 2021. Video by Trigger Boxing

Thao is the first local fighter to make his name internationally. He shot to fame after defeating Indonesia's George Lumoly to become the first Vietnamese boxer to win a World Boxing Council (WBC) Asia title in November 2017.

But he couldn't compete in the 2018 WBC championship after sustaining injuries from a traffic accident. Since he couldn't defend his title, organizers decided to strip him of the crown.

He could not compete for nearly a year because of Covid-19 and injury. The last time he entered the ring was at the end of February 2020 in Cambodia, beating Filipino boxer Aries Buenavidez at the World Boxing Organization (WBO) Asia Pacific bout.

Even though not a title match, the Sunday win will still help Thao accumulate points to return to the professional boxing ring.

The Vietnamese boxing star has pocketed 14 wins and one loss.

go to top