HÀ NỘI — ‘The King’ Trương Đình Hoàng brought Việt Nam their first ever World Boxing Association Asia East title on Saturday night.

Hoàng, the 11-time national champion defeated South Korean Lee Gyu Hyun on points after 10 rounds in the Super Middleweight 76kg class at the historic Đông Kinh Nghĩa Thục Square in Hà Nội.

The bout was the main event of the Victory 8 – Legends of Hoàn Kiếm, the biggest boxing competition ever held in Việt Nam.

Sticking to their pre-fight promises, both boxers attacked from the opening bell, but much to the delight of the home support Hoàng managed to floor his opponent at the end of the first round with a series of good combination punches.

Hoàng continued on the front foot in the next few rounds, connecting with a number of precise uppercuts.

But the man from Korea stood strong, taking all The King could muster, using his experience to hold on to his opponent to slow him down.

For Hoàng, this is his first profession fight to go the distance and need the judges to determine the winner.

Trương Đình Hoàng punches Lee Gyu Hyun during their 10-round fight. — VNS Photo Đoàn Tùng

Hoàng’s previous two fights both resulted in knock-out wins, so Saturday’s match-up was a real endurance test, and The King passed with flying colours.

“Winning the belt in front of thousands of home supporters was a great feeling. It is difficult to explain this wonderful feeling. I am really proud!” Hoàng told Việt Nam News.

“It was my first time competing in a 10-round fight and I faced a rival who had great physique and he was tough under my consecutive attempts.

“He made me change my tactics so that I could box with him throughout 10 rounds. He was a really difficult opponent,” said Hoàng who will now set his sights on next month’s SEA Games in the Philippines.

Hoàng’s victory is the first WBA title of Việt Nam. Two years ago, boxer Trần Văn Thảo pocketed a WBC Asia belt in the men’s super-flyweight 52kg category.

Prior to the main card match on Saturday, there were 11 bouts organised between Vietnamese and international boxers.

Under strong support of local fans, the host team won eight.

Among them, Nguyễn Văn Đương beat Jenel Lausa of the Philippines in the men’s 57kg; Thomas Wu defeated Australian winner Michael Pengue in the men’s 67kg;

Nguyễn Thị Tâm easily won over Jasmeen Hudson, also from Australia, in the women’s 51kg; and Nguyễn Văn Hải overcame Filippino Charly Suarez in the men’s 61kg. — VNS

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