Vietnamese boxer defends WBA Asia East title

By Duc Dong   February 16, 2020 | 10:50 pm PT
Truong Dinh Hoang has successfully defended his Asia East Super Middleweight belt after knocking out Thailand's Yuttanna Wongda in the second round.

The match for the 76-kg category belt took place last Saturday at the Highland International Boxing Promotion event at Manila Arena, the Philippines.

Even though coming to this fight as a returning champion, Hoang had only turned professional in 2019, while Wongda, 31, was the more experienced fighter, with a modest record of 14 wins (10 by knockout) and 25 losses.

However, the Vietnamese boxer from the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak looked in far better shape both physically and mentally, dominating the fight from the word go with a flurry of punches that his opponent gamely took on, offering little offense in return.

Returning champion Truong Dinh Hoang poses for picture with his World Boxing Association Asia East Super Middleweight belt on February 15 at the Manila Arena, the Philippines. Photo courtesy of Hoangs Facebook.

Returning champion Truong Dinh Hoang poses with his World Boxing Association Asia East Super Middleweight belt at the Manila Arena, the Philippines, February 15, 2020. Photo courtesy of Truong Dinh Hoang's Facebook.

Wongda started out in a slightly better manner in the next round, indicating he could put up a good fight by taking the fight to his opponent, but failed to make much of an impression. The bout was all but over as a Hoang punch sneaked through his rival's defense and brought the latter down to his knees.

At the count of three, the Thai fighter got back on his feet, and Hoang rushed in for the kill. Around five consecutive punches saw Wongda collapse again, but he stood up after about seven seconds. But there was very little respite for the Thai fighter as he ran into a greater flurry of punches that sent him reeling to the floor, and the referee stepped in to signal the 12-round bout would not go into the third.

"After years of hard training, this is a victory I think I totally deserve," Hoang said after the match.

"Wongda is an experienced fighter, but I also have nearly 20 years of amateur boxing under my belt. I was not worried about facing him. I tried to find openings to launch attacks. ... I am very happy."

Hoang, 30, won the World Boxing Association Asia East Super Middleweight title last October after beating South Korea's Lee Gyu Hyun in 10 rounds in Hanoi. It was a surprise to fans given that he had a three-year break due to injury.

He retired due to a severe eye injury suffered in the Olympics 2016 qualifiers. He made a comeback last year and turned professional, though at 29 he was considered too old to do so.

In his first professional bout in May 2019 , he defeated Arthit Bunphloeng of Thailand. 

At the SEA Games last November, Hoang won silver medal in the 81-kg category, unable to repeat his gold performance in the 2015 SEA Games. 

[A video posted on Truong Dinh Hoang's Facebook page of the WBA Asia East Super Middleweight match between Hoang and Thailand's Yuttanna Wongda, February 15, 2020.]

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