|Đinh Hồng Quân of Việt Nam (left) lands a clean uppercut on Delmar Pellio of the Philippines in the IBF Asia title match in April. The champion Quân will compete against Esquiva Falcao of Brazil this Sunday. Photo courtesy of Cocky Buffalo|
HÀ NỘI International Boxing Federation (IBF) Asia champion Đinh Hồng Quân will step back into the ring this weekend to face Olympic silver medallist Esquiva Falcao in a friendly sparring event entitled 'Việt Nam Meets Brazil' in HCM City.
Falcao is undefeated with 30 wins, 20 coming via knockout. Quân, 24, has a record of nine wins (four knockouts), one draw and one loss.
Falcao, 32, was a member of the Brazilian national team. He won a bronze at the world championships in 2011 and silver at the London Olympic Games in 2012.
|Olympic silver medallist Esquiva Falcao of Brazil (right) will be a big challenge to the IBF Asia champion Đinh Hồng Quân. Photo webthethao.vn|
He turned pro in 2014. He is a top contender for the 160lb middleweight IBF world title, currently held by Kazak Gennady Golovkin.
Champion was born
Born in 1998, Quân trained in the Vietnamese traditional martial art (Vovinam) for five years from the age of eight.
He switched to boxing in 2012 and developed a passion for the discipline.
"I began boxing on the suggestion of my coach Đào Đức Cơ, who said I had the potential and, if I worked hard, I could be successful," Quân said.
"At first, I only liked it a little. But, over the years, boxing has been a real passion.
"My Vovinam background strongly supports me and pushes me ahead in boxing. My agility and reflexes are from Vovinam," said Quân.
According to coaches, his martial arts background helps him to maintain his balance, particularly when switching from defence to attack and vice versa.
In his debut as a pro in 2018, Quân faced South Korean Kim Hyi Hyuk in Seoul.
Supported by South Korean promoter Kim Sang Bum, Quân has developed well.
"My technique has improved because I am in a good training environment where I train under quality foreign coaches and spar with experienced athletes. But here, I am also trained to own stable mentality with confidence and individual difference," he said.
His powerful punches have served him well, ensuring nearly 50 per cent of his wins came by via KO. Quân resumé includes Jae Hoon Park and Dong Hee Kim of South Korea, Roonayut Boonraksa from Thailand and Trần Trung Nghĩa of Việt Nam.
Almost four years after turning pro, Quân became the first Vietnamese boxer to hold an IBF Asia title.
He beat Delmar Pellio of the Philippines in a 10-round bout by unanimous decision in April at The Grand Ho Tram Resort in Bà Rịa Vũng Tàu Province, securing his first international title in his career.
|Đinh Hồng Quân with his IBF belt after defending his title in July. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Boxing Commission|
He is one of almost 20 Vietnamese pro boxers and the fifth to win a prestigious international boxing organisation title.
Three months later, he successfully defended his title, beating Filipino Jules Victoriano by unanimous decision.
'Việt Nam meets Brazil'
In a promo released ahead of the spar, Quân welcomes Falcao to Việt Nam. Falcao sent the message: 'Đinh Hồng Quân, see you in Việt Nam!'.
"In this contest, I will spar with a senior boxer who is much more experienced than me. I will do my best and try to learn as much as possible from him," Quân told Việt Nam News.
"His undefeated record of 30 wins and 20 KOs is amazing. However, I have well prepared to host him on home ground," said Quân.
According to Quân, this sparring event is exactly what he needs as he prepares for his next title defence in December in Việt Nam, with his rival yet to be confirmed.
|A poster for the 'Vietnam Meets Brazil' event, to be held on October 9 in HCM City.|
"This will be a unique, one-of-a-kind in Việt Nam," said Kim, CEO of Cocky Buffalo, the event co-organiser.
"At the sparring event, people will see the meeting of two boxing styles, Việt Nam and Brazil. They are all outstanding athletes in their countries. They are real champions who bring their bravery, determination and sportsmanship to the ring," he said." VNS