Fighters ready for world boxing organisation title matches

August 20, 2023 - 10:35
The third event of the LEAD series features a World Boxing Council (WBC) Asia belt match and three World Boxing Association (WBA) Asia title bouts at the Saigon Sports Club in HCM City.


Trịnh Thế Long of Việt Nam (left) and Chayanon Phothijun of Thailand at the weigh-in ahead of their 10-round WBC Asia silver middleweight fight won August 20 in HCM City. Photos of Shadow Entertainment.

HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese competitors are ready to secure their belts at the LEAD: Battle of Power, the first continental title boxing event held in Việt Nam, on August 20.

The third event of the LEAD series features a World Boxing Council (WBC) Asia belt match and three World Boxing Association (WBA) Asia title bouts at the Saigon Sports Club in HCM City.

All athletes passed their weigh-ins on August 19 and showed their determination to take the best results during a press conference later.

The main card of the night will be between Vietnamese undefeated Trịnh Thế Long and Thai star Chayanon Phothijun, vying for the 10-round WBC Asia silver middleweight belt.

"I have trained hard and sparred with Vietnamese leading boxers in the last three months in preparation for this match," said Long.

"I have also kept my mind in comfort mode so that I would fight the best."

Meanwhile his rival Phothijun said he was honoured to take part in the WBC title match. It was his second time competing abroad and he hoped that it would be a competitive match that brought great experience to supporters.

Taking part in the event, Long has shown remarkable record of four wins of four knockouts. It will be his second time boxing at the LEAD. In his first time at the Lead: The Beginning, he floored Ibrahim Aroby of Indonesia, who played 18 pro matches in his career, last October. 

Long's strong body and head shots give Aroby no chance and he collapsed in early time of the second round.

Earlier, with these powerful punches, he also knocked out experienced Tanawat Ketsiri of Thailand after three rounds.

Phothijun has fought 10 matches, winning seven with five KOs and was knocked out in the rest three.

In his latest match, he downed fellow countryman Kacha Srikong in the second round of a six-round match in June.

If he wins, Long will be Việt Nam's second WBC Asian champion after Trần Văn Thảo who won his super flyweight belt in 2017.

Vietnamese Võ Hồng Đạt (left) and Ernie Sanchez of the Philippines will fight for the WBA Asia lightweight belt.

Among three WBA Asia title fights, the lightweight bout between Vietnamese Võ Hồng Đạt and Ernie Sanchez of the Philippines is the top match up.

Đạt is a promising young boxer with a remarkable performance of five wins with four KOs. Sanchez has fought much more than him, boxing 41 bouts, earning 21 wins (12 KOs), 18 losses and two draws.

"I have to admit that my rival is much more experienced than me. He has played in many international matches," said Đạt.

"He is a strong boxer which will make my match really tough. However, it is a strong push for me to punch harder and stronger."

In the light flyweight class, boxing prodigy Arvin Paciones will go head-to-head with Jonathan Refugio in an all-Filipino match.

The last title match is between Russian Avzalbek Kuranbaev and Filipino Adam Diu Abdulhamid, fighting for the WBA South Asia middleweight belt.

In addition to the four key fights of the world's two most prestigious organisations in the sport, the organisers also entertain supporters with eight other meets between local boxers and international ones from France, Indonesia, South Africa and Singapore.

LEAD events are organised by Shadow Entertainment, the Việt Nam Boxing Federation and the HCM City Boxing Federation.

The series, scheduled to be organised regularly, is expected to reach international standards and become a strong base for Vietnamese fighters to gain experience and integrate into the world.

Shadow Entertainment is operating in the field of managing and training professional boxers and martial artists and organising events. VNS