Tran Van Thao (R) and Rongguo Wu in a pre-match conference, May 17, 2019. Photo courtesy of WBA Asia
Tran Van Thao, current World Boxing Council (WBC) super flyweight Asia champion, will fight a higher ranked Chinese boxer in HCMC today.
Thao will go up against Rongguo Wu, currently ranked 110 in the world, 43 places above him, in a World Boxing Association (WBA) Asia Championship match.
This is a rare opportunity for Vietnamese fans to see Thao fight a professional match at home.
Thao, nicknamed the “Vietnamese Mayweather” is unbeaten in 11 matches in his career so far. Although he hasn’t been able to box much this year with opponents withdrawing, Thao said that he will try to get a victory at home on Saturday.
Beginning to box when he was 16, Thao tasted fame when he won a gold medal in the National Boxing Championship and became the champion of Steel Competition Boxing Tournament, an annual event for professional boxers in 2016.
The highlight of Thao’s career was in November 2017, when he knocked out George “Coken” Lumoly of Indonesia in just 36 seconds to take the WBC Asia belt in the super flyweight category. He is the first Vietnamese to win a WBC belt.
Another Vietnamese boxer, Truong Dinh Hoang, will also have a match at the event against Thailand’s Arthit Bunphloeang in the middleweight category. This is Hoang’s very first professional boxing match. Previously, he won a gold medal at SEA Games 28 in 2015.
WBA is one of four old major boxing organizations alongside the IBF, WBC and WBO. The WBA Asia Championship is one of the most prestigious boxing competitions on the continent. The HCMC tournament will start at 6 p.m. at Saigon Sports Club in District 7.