WBA Asia champions Toàn, Hoàng to defend belts next month

February 18, 2023 - 08:39
Originally scheduled for February 26 in the Central Highlands province of Đắk Lắk, the title fights were rescheduled for March 25 in HCM City after the provincial authorities declined to grant the necessary licence to the organisers.


Lê Hữu Toàn lands a body shot on Filipino Jake Amparo in his first WBA Asia minimumweight (48kg) title defence last November. Toàn will face Garen Diagan from the Philippines in March in HCM City. — Photo courtesy of Lê Hữu Toàn

Thanh Hà

HCM CITY — Vietnamese boxing champions Lê Hữu Toàn and Trương Đình Hoàng are set to defend their titles in highly anticipated matches next month at the Saigon Sports Club in HCM City on March 25.

Toàn will take on World Boxing Council (WBC) No. 8 Garen Diagan from the Philippines for the World Boxing Association (WBA) Asia minimumweight (48kg) strap.

Hoàng will go up against South Korean No.1 and WBA Asia No. 11 Baek Dae Hyun for the super middleweight (76kg) WBA Asia belt.

Originally scheduled for February 26 in the Central Highlands province of Đắk Lắk, the title fights were rescheduled for March 25 in HCM City after the provincial authorities declined to grant the necessary licence to the organisers.

This will be Toàn's second title defence after he beat Filipino Jake Amparo on points after 12 rounds in Bangkok, Thailand.

The victory pushed him to the WBA's No. 8 place in the world rankings.

"Diagan is a strong rival who is rated a three-star fighter on Boxrec," Toàn told the Việt Nam News. "His southpaw is good, and he has a powerful fighting style with strong punches that knocked out many rivals."

Diagan is a top athlete in his home country and No. 6 in the WBC rankings. The 26-year-old is No. 15 in the world, eight places higher than the Vietnamese representative.

Diagan has recorded nine wins (5KOs) and three losses (1KO).

He won a local professional championship in 2019 before challenging for the WBC Asia belt last July but came up short.

The March 25 match against Toàn is his third continental title bout.

"This coming match is very important for me," said Toàn, who has recorded six wins in his career. "It is a bout in which I will defend my title and gain more points to improve my world ranking."

"I am really focused on this fight. My coaching board and I have researched Diagan carefully and worked hard in preparation for the match."

Toàn is currently working with Do Dong, a coach from the Philipines who has played a role in converting Trương Đình Hoàng into Việt Nam's first WBA East Asia and WBA Asia champion.

"Do Dong is a good, experienced coach," said Toàn. "He has been contributing a lot to my development today. He clearly understands Filipino boxers, and it is one of my advantages in this match, which we set to win."

Toàn added his WBA world No. 8 was motivation for him to push on to fifth place and a potential world title fight.

"I hope people will come to support me, a Vietnamese warrior, on the ring that day."

In the later fight, 'The King' Trương Đình Hoàng will face Baek, South Korea's leading pro boxer.

The 25-year-old South Korean is No. 102 of 1,371 boxers in his weight class in the world. He is 303 places higher than Hoàng.

"My rival is No. 1 in my category (in WBA), but I will try my best not to let my supporters down," said Hoàng, who has three knock-out wins from his three-year career as a professional.

The other fights on the card feature Nguyễn Ngọc Hải, Đỗ Ngọc Hoan, Lâm Đạt Phát and Đoàn Gia Thành. — VNS