Earlier this year we reported that Tran Van Thao (11-0, 8) [Trần Văn Thảo] would be making his US debut in April. Now we have a lot more details of that bout.
As per the original report the Vietnamese fighter will be fighting in Florida, with the date of the bout now being set on April 12th. The bout will be for a lightly regarded WBF "world" title, presumably at Super Flyweight though that was unconfirmed, and will see the unbeaten Thao battle against Argentina's Lucas Emmanuel Fernandez (12-2-1, 9).
Thao, originally dubbed the "Vietnamese Mayweather" though now going by the nickname of "The Trigger", made huge news in his homeland in 2017 when he won an interim regional WBC title. Following that title win he has has picked up 4 low profile wins, all in Thailand. This bout with Fernandez is huge news in Vietnamese, but those circles are certainly small and he's not a given to actually win the bout, and a loss could be a big hit the growing Vietnamese scene.
Fernandez is a 27 year old who made his debut in 2013 as a Flyweight. He has fought mostly in Argentina, though his last 2 bouts have been on the road, stopping Joshua Franco in Puerto Rico and losing to Gideon Buthelezi in South Africa. Although he's seemingly been selected to make Thai look good he is very much a live opponent here and won't be sharing the ring with Thao to just roll over and improve the Vietnamese fighters profile.
At the moment details in regards to TV are yet to be announced, though its seen as likely that the Vietnamese fans will be getting the bout shown live, some how.
According to Vietnamese sources unbeaten local boxing star Tran Van Thao (11-0, 8) [Trần Văn Thảo] is set to have a huge 2019.
Today it was announced that a press conference will be held with the unbeaten fighter, on January 17th in Saigon to announce that he will be fighting for a WBF title in Florida in April.
The full details of the planned press conference haven't been made public yet, but the news has rippled through the Vietnamese sports paper with Thao being seen as the countries only notable boxing hope, and with his US debut now looking like it's only a few months away we may be about to hear a lot more about him.
Although unknown outside of Asia Thao is noteworthy star in Vietnam, where he has been their face of boxing. He was their first fighter to win a WBC Asian Boxing Council title, and was a former national standout. His US debut is set to be the first US bout from a genuine Vietnamese prospect, though of course Dat Nguyen (20-3, 7) was a Vietnamese-American who fought his whole career in the US, and that will further enhanced his profile.
The January press conference will be a massive one for Vietnamese boxing as Thao, who was once dubbed the Mayweather of Vietnam, looks like he is about to become a big star in his homeland, despite struggling to make his mark on a bigger audience so far.
It's worth noting that Thao mae his debut in Vietnam, back in 2015, and since then has done a mini tour of Asia with bouts in Korea, Philippines and Thailand.
(Imagge courtesy of enh14.vn)
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