VSP Boxing HCMC hosted a packed media conference today to announce the fight card for Victory 8 – Legends of Hoan Kiem to be held in the nation’s capitol of Hanoi on October 19. The event will put the spotlight on 12 of Vietnam’s best boxers, who will take on an outstanding group of “World team” fighters from Australia, Philippines, and Korea. The main event will be a WBA sanctioned Asia East title at super middleweight featuring the country’s boxing “King” - Truong Dinh Hoang.
Vietnam has made outstanding progress toward professional boxing in the past year. Local company VSP Boxing has conducted three big shows where foreign stars were invited to compete with local amateurs under professional rules, and this has whet the appetite of fans for more events. Saigon Sports Club, one of the world’s best fight amenities and a long time industry sponsor, hosted a fully professional event earlier this year. VSP Boxing and SSC have successfully taken Vietnamese boxers to Korea and China for pro assignments in recent weeks. In what was thought to be previously impossible, six fighters have now competed outside of the country in professional events with the full approval of the Vietnam Sports Administration (VSA) All six scored solid victories.
VSP Boxing worked with VSA and the Vietnam Boxing Federation (VBF) to launch two Victory 8 shows in HCMC that have achieved a combined audience of over 7 million people. Emboldened by such a positive response from both boxers and fans, VSA then granted approvals for Victory 8 to stage a mega event in the city streets of Hanoi. This is the first time the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Tourism has permitted this, and it is anticipated that this historic sports event will be the greatest ever held in the capitol city. VSA have been quoted as saying they want the Victory 8 boxing to be accessible to all sports and live entertainment fans, and it is anticipated that more than 20,000 people will attend the Legends of Hoan Kiem show. Ms Luu Huyen, a strategic director for Victory 8 endorsed those numbers. “This will be our biggest and best show yet! We are holding it in the most famous and historic part of Hanoi, and everyone is aware of the legends surrounding the sword and the turtle lake. We are honoured by the central government approving us to create history in such a special place, and we will get to show the people of Vietnam exactly how good their fighters are! We will also televise the matches live, and we expect that the free to air and live stream will get more than 10 million views. This will be an amazing event for Vietnam! ”
The fight card for Victory 8 Legends of Hoan Kiem will see 12 Vietnamese National or potential champions look to repel what is an ominous line up of talented and power laden World team fighters from Australia, Philippines and South Korea. The squad comprises: Charly Suarez(PH) Jenel Lausa(PH) Michael Pengue(Aust) Virgel Vitor(PH) Gyu Hyun Lee(SK) Billy Cliff(Aust) Claudevan Sese(PH) Jye Lane Taylor(Aust) Gretel De Paz(PH) Emmet Brown(Aust) and top class amateurs Jayden Buan(Aust) and Jasmeen Hudson(Aust)
Charly Suarez is a freak boxer and definitely the best yet seen in Vietnam. He was an Olympian and a stalwart of the Philippines National team before turning pro. He is fabled for his epic encounter with Vasyl Lomachenko (regarded by many as the world’s best boxer) – a fight that he accepted on five days notice while battling a severe arm injury. Charly Suarez is a highly regarded talent in his country, often training with the Philippines most famous export Manny Pacquiao. He has fought three times as a professional for three knockout victories.
Jenel Lausa the “Demolition Man” Jenel is a “beast” at the weight, and is super experienced in various fight forms. He is 10 for 10 as a pro, smashing his opponents senseless and recording 6 knockouts. Jenel has also competed in the UFC where his striking skills are sublime. He scored a massive win in Australia against Yao Zhikui in front of more than 20,000 people. Jenel Lausa is a power laden fighter that loves to land the right hand, and when he does, it’s lights out!
Mickey Pengue is a class boxer that came to Vietnam in November 2018 and showed his skills with a dominant win over the courageous Vo Hong Dat. He has had five wins as a professional – four of those ending in knockout. His most recent performance was undoubtedly his best – a dominant display ending in stoppage against the very strong Isaac Buckley. The win earned Mickey Pengue the Australasian title, and he ventures to Vietnam in October in top form.
Virgel “Valiente” Vitor is a powerhouse boxer from the island of Bohol in the Philippines. Virgel turned pro in 2014, and has been a wrecking ball since, winning 15 fights - 9 by way of knockout. He has scored heavy wins against a wide range of opponents which has developed him into a class boxer that knows how to land power shots. He is a front foot fighter who generally gets the better of heavy exchanges, and is quick to take a knockout opportunity if it presents.
Billy Cliff – its hard not to like everything about Billy Cliff! He comes to fight, box, bang, and entertain. This man is a great athlete who is rapidly improving as a boxer. An ex ice hockey champ, Billy has turned to boxing and is unbeaten as a pro with three wins – two by knockout. He is a tall and strong southpaw, and has been sparring with the likes of Mateo Tapia in preparation for this. Billy has a love for competition and will really come to life with the big Hanoi crowd.
Jye Lane Taylor is a top shelf Aussie who is unbeaten as a pro. Jye has had two Victory 8 encounters with National Champ Nguyen Van Hai in bouts that were too close to call. He is a super composed and classy fighter, who picks shots really well and can deliver power when needed. He has the ability to land lead right hands at will, and this spells danger for any southpaw opponent. Jye Lane Taylor is coming down in weight to 61kg for this event, and it looks as though this weight class will produce the most formidable version of this top young fighter.
Claudevan Sese is a decent level Filipino who’s only pro losses have been to top class unbeaten opponents. Claudevan Sese has fast hands and good boxing skills that have seen him win 7 pro outings. He is an entertaining fighter but not renowned as a power puncher. There is no doubt he will put on a show for the big Hanoi crowd and the fighter known as Mr. Heart throb will win lots of fans – especially females!
Gyu Hyun Lee is a promising fighter who was narrowly beaten for the South Korean middleweight title earlier this year. He has had two professional wins in 2018 against useful opponents, and the move to super middleweight should suit and give him more firepower. Gyu Hyun Lee is more of a boxer than a puncher, who will try to catch and counter off the back foot and make angle. The task of him executing his style in this fight is in question. TDH is a master of cutting off the ring, and he brings so much pressure that Gyu Hyun Lee will need to stay composed and select his shots carefully. If not, TDH will KO him as he LOVES to counter his opponent’s counterpunch.
Emmet Brown is a super strong Aussie fighter with good endurance. Emmet fought at Victory 8 in March, where he lost narrowly to the talented Bui Phuoc Tung. Many thought Emmet was unlucky that night as he finished over the top of his tiring opponent. That was Emmet Brown’s first fight back in more than two years, so expect a much sharper version in Hanoi. He has really good ring craft, and he likes to mount physical and mental pressure on his opponents.
Gretel De Paz is a strong, come forward action fighter. She has a low centre of gravity, and her ability to work the body whilst marching forward makes her difficult to defy. Her hands are deceptively quick, and she lands shots well if able to achieve close range. She competed at Victory 8 in March against Nguyen Thi Tam, taking the fight at short notice. There is no doubt we will see a vastly improved version of Gretel De Paz come October 19.
Jayden Buan - incredible to think that Jayden Buan competed in his first Victory 8 at the age of 16! After winning the early exchanges of his debut, Jayden was eventually beaten narrowly by the older and stronger Pham Duc Doan. He now returns one year later – bigger and more powerful, and still only 17, making him the youngest fighter at the Hoan Kiem event!! Jayden is super talented and definitely the fastest of the Aussie boxers in the World team. His nickname is “Bullet”, and whilst possessing electric hands, he is also has great head movement, and is a difficult fighter to land heavy shots on.
Jasmeen Hudson is a high pedigree amateur with fast hands and aggressive style. She loves to bring the fight to the opponent, so is well suited to professional style boxing. She is short and closes distance very well, and has the hand speed to provide trouble from close range. Jasmeen is a high energy fighter who is a 3x golden gloves and 3x Australian title winner.
Victory 8 – Legends of Hoan Kiem October 19 - Hanoi, Vietnam.
For further information: https://www.facebook.com/victory8boxing/
Vietnam Boxing team announced today
Ho Chi Minh City – Monday, October 22, 2018
Victory 8 held a press conference at VSP Boxing Gym HCMC today unveiling the boxing team to represent Vietnam at Victory 8 later this year. Victory 8 – Legends of Hoan Kiem is scheduled for October 19 in Hanoi. It will be the largest sporting event in the history of Vietnam. The expected crowd is in excess of 20,000, and the television views will likely be more than 5 million. The show includes visiting pro fighters from Australia, India, the Philippines, and Thailand.
The Hanoi spectacular has been made possible courtesy of the assistance of the Central Government and the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Tourism. Victory 8 – Legends of Hoan Kiem is historic, as it is the first time professional boxing will be endorsed supported in Vietnam. The event will take place outdoor in the streets of the national capitol, in perhaps the most famous area of Hanoi – Hoan Kiem Lake. The Government has issued a statement proposing that they will block off the jurisdiction for 3 days to facilitate the international event.
As reported today by Victory 8 boxing:
TRUONG DINH HOANG AND NGUYEN VAN HAI LEAD HOT VIETNAM TEAM FOR HANOI
Victory 8 have chosen a chosen a formidable squad to take on top class World team that will come to fight in Vietnam on October 19.
The Legends of Hoan Kiem team will compete against elite professional boxers from around the world in what will no doubt be the biggest sporting event ever seen in Vietnam.
Truong Dinh Hoang has been listed as the main event of 12 scheduled bouts. Nguyen Thi Tam, Nguyen Van Hai , and Nguyen Van Duong are just some of the other big names included in the intimidating line up of Vietnam boxing talent that includes national champions and hot young prospects..
The full team is:
Truong Dinh Hoang
Nguyen Van Hai
Nguyen Van Duong
Tran Duc Tho
Nguyen Thi Tam
Pham Duc Doan
Vu Thanh Dat
Bui Phuoc Tung
Nguyen Van Gioi
Tran Van An
Cao Van Nguyen
Vo Thi Kim Anh
The announcement has been reported on the Victory 8 facebook portal: https://www.facebook.com/victory8boxing/
Victory 8: Welcome to Vietnam show will feature top professional fighters from around the globe to challenge Vietnam’s best. The event will be held in HCMC Vietnam on Friday March 29, and will be televised live to a local audience of more than 10 million people.
Six epic battles! Vietnam versus the world! Will they have what it takes to achieve victory?
Ben “the juicer” McCulloch – commentator and former world rated fighter gives his thoughts:
Fight 1 57kg Ariel Puton v Cao Van Nguyen undercard 4 rounds
Ariel Puton (Philippines) - pro boxer 5 fights 5 wins 4 by stoppage. They call him the Sleep Doctor and that’s looking apt from where I sit! This kid is young and has very heavy hands. He is an unbeaten pro against mediocre opposition. No doubt he is good, but I also have no doubt that Cao Van Nguyen is his best opponent to date. Similar to Jino Rodrigo, he likes to set up power shots and has a heavy right hand. He is trained by ex Wild Card gym owner/trainer Dante Almario. The boy is promising.
Cao Van Nguyen - Bronze at the National Champs (actually 4th) at 56kg. He competed at Vina Cup 2018 Dong Nai. He fought a Korean pro who had 10 wins and was a real journeyman. The Korean was 4kg heavier and a lot taller. Cao Van Nguyen went great, didn’t take a backward step, and landed lots on the Korean. He has lots of similarities to Nguyen Van Duong, just a slightly inferior version. He is very strong kid and has the same back and neck as NVD. I like him a lot because I think he is better suited to the pros.
Ariel Puton wins. This fight looks an absolute war and might just be the best of the night – and it is the first!! Super tough fight to pick. Cao Van Nguyen loves these sort of events. It is obvious he lifts for a big stage. He bashed the big Korean pro at Vina Cup like he was a harp seal. He never took a backward step, and the Korean was good (albeit slow) Ariel Puton is not slow, and knows how to put a guy to the sword! At this stage, the Viet has power but is a slapper, so is unlikely to get a knockout. I select Ariel Puton here because he punches a lot straighter, so I see his landed shot ratio being higher. He also will make the Viet pay if he gets careless. The Korean was too slow to capitalise on that in the Dong Nai fight and landed excellent body shots, but because his head was twice the size of a normal human, he wore shots there. Ariel is younger and more dynamic and should win a cracker. Hard not to love Cao Van Nguyen – he is a total warrior!
Fight 2 63.5kg Emmet Brown v Bui Phuoc Tung undercard 4 rounds
Emmet Brown (Australia) - former good amateur who is going professional. The mail is that he is a really competent boxer, with lots of rugged strength and high work rate. Bondi Boxing Club have placed a high rating on the boy from Byron Bay known as Armageddon!. If they are right, and the name fits snug, he will do very well as a pro.
Bui Phuoc Tung - Silver medallist at National Champs at 63.5kg to Tran Duc Tho. Maybe I am biased but I really like this guy. He is awkward and cavalier. Stays really loose, very confident fighter. All the fights I have seen of him have been against the better guys in Vietnam. And even in his losses, he has often looked the more talented boxer with the most scope to improve. This guy is a bit of a bean pole 63.5kg, and will get stronger and grow into it really well. But he needs to improve lots.
Too tough to call. Bui Phuoc Tung landed lots of good shots at the National Champs and got silver against Vu Thanh Dat. He has fast hands, throws from some awkward angles, and loves and trusts his hands. At this stage, his head doesn’t move a lot and he can be easy to counter. It’s the main reason he has lost close fights with very talented opponents. My guess is, Emmet isn’t as fast as those opponents, nor as fast as Bui PhuocTung. But he will land on the Viet, and he is a fully fledged 63.5kg guy (whereas the Viet fought at 56kg as recently as last year) This is tough to call – either the Viet gets off to a flier and lands lots of leather in the first two rounds, or Emmet stays patient and picks his counters. He is an experienced boxer, and I believe if he’s outgunned early, this is what he will do. And he will land the heavier shots. That said, I am going with the Viet. Why? He has fought Vu Thanh Dat twice (won one lost one) but in each fight, he did look the more talented guy. Vu Thanh Dat fought a guy 4.5kg heavier than him and schooled him in the first two rounds. It’s hard for me to imagine that Emmet would have the wood on Tommy Mercuri jr– so I have to presume that Bui will handle this big assignment and have too much hand and foot speed for Emmet (who is now 29) Fight can easily go either way. Emmet has the experience and power ascendency.
Fight 3 51kg Gretel De Paz v Nguyen Thi Tam undercard 4 rounds
Gretel De Paz (Philippines) - pro boxer 10 fights 6 wins (2 wins by KO) Gretel’s losses have been against unbeaten opponents in Japan, China, Macau, and Australia. Gretel is a good boxer, nice balance and decent power. She is extremely strong and heavily built, and takes shots really well. She can also take a shot and throw Golovkin style, so not the typical girl tip and run fighter.
Nguyen Thi Tam - Southpaw. Won national Champs at 51kg. Won Victory 8 November 3. Won World Youth Gold Medal in Budapest. 3rd Asian Games 2018. Tall with broad shoulders – an absolute weapon and still learning!
Nguyen Thi Tam wins. The Viet star has lots of flaws and as good as she is right now, I can’t comprehend how good she will be with higher level training. Her shot selection is rubbish, her power hand is rubbish, and she fights like an amateur just hoping to win based on hand speed and shot volume. In spite of all that, she’s just an amazing athlete with really good height and awkwardness for 51kg opponents. Add to that, she is fast and has a good petrol tank. With the right trainer I am sure she can be top rated pro, maybe even first world champ for Vietnam. She wins this even though she’s matching a decent pro here. Gretel is a good boxer but short – only 5ft 3. No easy entrance angles for her with Nguyen Thi Tam. She is a strong girl with a good chin, and not bad balance – very solid in the legs. She has Ok power also. BUT – no hand and foot speed, and easy for the Viet girl to tag her on the way in and way out, so she simply can’t outpoint Tam. She would need a KO and that won’t be happening. This will be on OK fight for Tam, as it’s a test against a durable opponent who won’t be intimidated by her, and will wear a shot to land one. I’d be pretty sure this is the first time Tam has fought a tough pro, and she will learn a lot from fighting a girl that not only will not consistently be on the back foot, but will get low and come forward.
Fight 4 63.5kg Jino Rodrigo v Vu Thanh Dat undercard 4 rounds
Jino Rodrigo (Philippines) - pro boxer 6 fights 5 wins 1 draw (4 wins by KO) He has campaigned at lightweight, and then just got bigger. Good boxer, nice balance, heavy right hand - especially overhand. If you stand in front of him and trade, you are going to get knocked out. They call him the missing link – it will become obvious why.
Vu Thanh Dat - Won the National Champs at 63.5kg. This is the guy that fought the very promising Tommy Mercuri jr at 67kg at November 3 event. He handled the heavier Mercuri quite well, and took him apart early. He was overwhelmed by the Mercuri punch rate late, but his best moments were definitely better than Tommy’s. He is a bit conservative in punch volume, but picks his shots well and has really good balance. At this stage, he is a really strong boy at 63.5kg
Jino Rodrigo is a knockout puncher, quite slick, and you’d expect would be a short price favourite. But I like Vu Thanh Dat! Jino has power but he gets impatient to use it. His jab is average and he is right hand happy, especially the overhand. Vu Thanh Dat showed against a way bigger Tommy Mercuri that he can’t be bullied, and I think he will work out that Jino sometimes forgets his lead up work while trying to land the heavy shots. I like that Vu Thanh Dat can attack and also counter punch. He is well suited here as long as Jino doesn’t land a bomb early. Jino has been fighting guys that like to load up, so to a degree, his life has been made simple for him so far. The other thing that helps the Viet, is that Jino has been slaying really strong (and a little mediocre) light weights. Vu Thanh Dat showed last time that even though he is 63.5kg, he can handle a strong 68kg boy like Tommy Mercuri very well.
Fight 5 70kg Danilo Creati v Tran Duc Tho MAIN UNDERCARD 6 rounds
Danilo Creati (Italy) - 5x national amateur champion and unbeaten pro. 4 fights 4 wins . Fast hands, good footwork. Very sharp and structured – also quite a conservative boxer. Very tidy and impressive looking fighter. The guys that have been sparring him say that Danilo is a ghost – he’s that hard to hit!
Tran Duc Tho - (Southpaw) National Champion 2018. This guy is a work in progress. He is gangly, awkward, unorthodox. Lots of potential. I like that he is a super confident kid with good timing, and has learnt his trade against much smaller but sharper Viet boxers. With good training, I think he can improve A LOT. He is a decided step up on Creati’s Aussie opponents, and he looks as though 6 rounds should suit him – as he seems to know how to dominate, and also to how take a rest and wait for opportunities.
Creati wins. Creati has top amateur and pro pedigree, and it seems improbable that an awkward and still learning boxer could beat him. Danilo Creati would be a short price favourite in betting here. He has been super impressive in all his Aussie wins. BUT Tran Duc Tho seems impossible to intimidate, and I think the Viet is that unorthodox, tough, and so very confident and creative with his hands that there is also a very good chance the Italian just fails to understand what he is going to do next!. It’s a cracker of a fight though, as Creati is sooo tidy, he won’t leave any easy shots on offer and the Viet will have to earn each of them. The Viet has also had experience (lots of it) against short sharp punchers that are quicker than Creati, so he should do very well. This is a great fight – maybe both guys will reach new levels here.
Fight 6 60.0kg Jye Lane Taylor v Nguyen Van Duong MAIN EVENT 6 rounds
Jye Lane Taylor (Australia) - Jye is hot talent from Australia. He made his long awaited pro debut on 23 feb, and after dropping his opponent in the first round, scored a dominant win. Since Victory 8 November 3, he has been sparring top quality opponents and training the house down. This fight is listed at 59kg – Jye will be around 62kg by the time he walks into the ring. Jye will be a great guy for future Vietnam events – clean fighter, lots of poise.
Nguyen Van Duong - 3rd at national champs after sustaining a head cut. Won the recent Victory 8 against a bigger Kamil Syed. NVD normally a 56kg fighter – Kamil a 61kg fighter. Kamil Syed returned home and was a good winner of the second tier organisation Australian title. Outstanding talent – fast hands, good balance, very strong. Still learning.
Lane Taylor wins a close one. Class boxer who can easily go 6 rounds and has massive height and weight advantage. He also has benefit of seeing previous fights of NVD, and his multiple flaws. NVD will need lots of schooling before March, and learn how to save petrol if he is to win the March fight. Jye Lane is very conservative boxer (sometimes too much so) and I expect NVD to start fast and get the better of the opening exchanges. This is a great main event and will go to points, so for NVD to win, he will need to moderate his pace a little and pick his shots better as the fight goes on. Fitness query on NVD at 6 rounds. After this event, he will revert to his true weight category of 56kg.
For more information about Victory 8 and the March 29 event: https://www.facebook.com/victory8boxing/
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!