The first reign by a Vietnamese world champion was a short one, which ended last night as Thi Thu Nhi Nguyen (5-1, 1) lost the WBO female Minimumweight title in her first defense, coming up short in a unification bout against excellent Costa Rican fighter Yokasta Valle (26-2, 9), who added the WBO title to her own IBF belt.
Nguyen, who had been lucky to win the title with a questionable decision over Etsuko Tada, really never got into this one as Valle dominated almost every minute of the fighter. The Costa Rican local, fighting in front of her own fans in San Jose, Costa Rica, out fought, out boxed, outsped, out thought and out punched the Vietnamese visitor, who struggled to get anything going.
From pretty much the first round Valle fought like a fighter with a point to prove, finding a home for her quicker, sharper shots, especially her over hand right which landed time and time again. The success from Valle forced Nguyen to chase the bout at times, and that's never been something she's good at. As she chased and tried to turn things around the defense of Valle had a chance to shine, making Nguyen miss, or hit shoulders, before Valle began firing back combinations.
As the rounds went on there was little to celebrate for Nguyne, who looked second rate through out the bout. The only real moments of sustained success for her came in round 9, though even that wasn't enough to secure her a round and seemed more a care of Nguyen giving everything that was left and having more success than expected, rather than really doing enough to win the round. It was the only one someone could have given her, and it would have been something of a sympathy round at that.
After 10 rounds it was clear this wasn't close, and it was no surprise at all that the judges all turned in shut out scores in favour of the local champion who now has two titles around her waist, and takes another step towards a legacy defining rematch with Tina Rupprecht.