Boxer Trương Đình Hoàng poses with his belt after defending his World Boxing Association (WBA) Asia’s super middleweight title on Saturday in the Philippines. Photo 24h.com.vn
HÀ NỘI Boxer Trương Đình Hoàng has dominated the defence of his World Boxing Association (WBA) Asia super middleweight belt in Manila, the Philippines.
By doing so he became the first boxer to retain both the WBA West Asia and Asia East belts at the same time.
Last October, Hoàng secured the WBA Asia East title by beating South Korean Lee Gyu Hyun over 10 rounds at the Victory 8 – Legends of Hoàn Kiếm event.
On Saturday ‘The King’ knocked out Thai rival Yuttana Wongda in the second round at the Highland International Boxing Promotion event at the Manila Arena.
Wongda challenged Hoàng earlier this year.
The Vietnamese 11-time winner actually became the WBA Asia title holder without a swinging a punch after defending champion Meena Brijest of India refused to face him.
The Thai fighter was given a decent chance of winning with a record of 37 bouts with 13 wins (nine by KO) and 24 losses (17 by KO). Before their bout, Hoàng had only two fights as pro, winning both, with one coming from KO.
However the defending champion showed 31-year-old Wongda his power from the beginning with combinations of accurate blows that pushed him into defence, trying to avoid the aggressor.
He was lucky to make it through the first round, but Hoàng wasted no time in the second to floor his opponent.
Wongda made the count, but Hoàng continued to deliver heavy blows that floored Wongda for a second time before returning to his feet.
Wongda was on the ropes and could not resist under Hoàng’s third attempt, as medical officials rushed into the ring to check him.
“I am happy with the win. It is a worthy victory for me after weeks of hard training preparing for this fight,” Hoàng told Việt Nam News in a message.
“Wongda is an experienced athlete who has competed professionally for years, but have also competed for a dozen years in both amateur and professional competitions where I met many strong rivals. I was not scared of him,” Hoàng said.
The 29-year-old said an athlete’s record was just paperwork, and his real power would be shown clearly in the ring.
“In this fight I followed coaches’ plan. I fought slowly and looked for his weaknesses. It was a 12-round bout so I had to save energy, never trying to knock him out so I had the energy to last the distance,” Hoàng said.
“In general, any athlete is a little nervous prior to a fight but when we are in the ring we just focus on how to win. I have done a good job here, thanks to my family, friends and supporters. I hope to receive more from them at my next events,” said the boxer, who will now focus on gaining points for a berth at the Tokyo Olympics this summer. VNS