By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
BAVET,CAMBODIA- A boxing ring was set up in the middle of the casino floor of the Felix Hotel and Casino. There was already a captive audience at hand as gamblers gathered around the tables hours before the event actually started. The crowd was immediately drawn to the ring action and were not disappointed.
The main event saw Vietnamese Thi Thu Nhi Nguyen beat Thailand’s Kanyarat Yoohanngoh in a hard fought match for the vacant WBO Female mini-flyweight title. It was a feisty affair marred by a lot of holding, which cost Yoohanngoh a point in the third. In the end, Nguyen got a split verdict from judges Surat Soikrachang (Thailand) and Jung Taek Lee (S.Korea) – 99-90,with Edward Ligas (Philippines) scoring for Kanyarat 95-94.
Nguyen is now 4-0,1KO and could be in line for a title shot. Yoohanngoh drops to 7-5,4KO’s.
The ring became a madhouse after the last bout as fans and press members mingled inside.
Uzbek boxer Olimjon Nazarov overcame a tough Orlie Silvestre by unanimous decision to retain his WBO Oriental Flyweight title. Nazarov was the bigger man during the weigh-in and his size advantage became more obvious on fight night. Silvestre, the Philippine Light Flyweight champion, tried to use his lateral movement and speed. But Nazarov’s edge in power during exchanges enabled him to build a lead. In the ninth, facial swelling developed on Silvestre. It gradually became worse but did not hamper his vision and ability to fight as he tried to win the final two rounds but it was not enough. The judges scores – Sungworn Klungboonkrung (Thailand) – 116-112,Mekin Sumon -115-113 and Jung Taek Lee (S.Korea) – 117-111.
Nazarov is now 22-5,12KO’s. He was ranked number nine by the WBO going into this bout. Silvestre suffers another loss on the road and drops to 15-6-2,8KO’s.
The WBO bouts were supervised by WBO VP for Asia Pacific Leon Panoncillo.
For the undercard matches - Abdurasul Ismoilov (8-1,5KO’s) of Uzbekistan beat grizzled Filipino veteran Adones Aguelo (33-21-2,23KO’s) by TKO end of round two due to a cut on Aguelo’s right eyelid inflicted by a legal blow.
There were two more Vietnam vs Thailand matches - Hong Quan Dinh (5-1-1,2KO) stopped Roonayut Boonraksa (8-9,1KO) in the fifth round with Boonraksa being knocked down in rounds three and five. Minh Phat Sam (6-3,5KO’s) beat Gerttipong Kumsahwat (3-6,3KO’s) by TKO in the second round.
Van Thao Tran (13-1,8KO’s) of Vietnam won a lopsided six round decision Filipino Aries Buenavides (13-5,7KO’s) and in another female match, Vietnamese Tran Thi Linh made her debut with a unanimous verdict over Bo Mi Re Shin of South Korea. This fight card was supervised and sanctioned by the Professional Boxing Commission (PBC),International.
Photos - THI THU NHI NGUYEN (LEFT) AND OLIMJON NAZARO
Unbeaten Vietnamese fighter Van Thao Tran (12-0, 8) may not have had the best of years, with only 1 fight in 2019 so far, though it now looks like he is set to end the year with a potentially career defining bout.
Earlier this week it was announced that the 27 year old Tran would be taking on former IBF Featherweight champion Billy Dib (45-6-0-1, 26) on December 20th in Australia.
For Tran this is a massive step up in class, but if he can pick up the win he will immediately find himself getting huge amounts of attention in the Asia Pacific region. It would be a massive victory against a former world champion and would be something that would get him real attention, even if Dib is very much a faded force now a days.
As for Dib this will actually be his first bout since losing to Amir Khan in Dubai in July. The 34 year old Australian is very much a fighter well beyond his best, but it was only in August 2018 that he fought Tevin Farmer for the IBF Super Bantamweight title. He's faded but it wasn't that long ago that he was relevant, and he is still a big enough name that a win over him, at least for a prospect, is big news.
This bout will take place at the Club Marconi in Bossley Park, and looks set to be a very significant bout for both men just days before Christmas.
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