Nguyễn Thị Thu Nhi of Việt Nam celebrates her WBO World Title win in Ansan, South Korea, on Saturday. — Photo courtesy of Cocky Buffalo Gym
HÀ NỘI — Nguyễn Thị Thu Nhi has become Việt Nam’s first World Boxing Organisation champion after winning a WBO belt on Saturday in Ansan, South Korea.
The Vietnamese boxer took the title on a split decision with two judges scoring Nhi at 96 points, two more than her Japanese rival Etsuko Tada after 10 rounds of the women’s mini-flyweight title fight.
Nhi made history becoming the first ever Vietnamese to win a professional WBO belt. It was a great gift for her after she celebrated her 25th birthday on Friday.
Back in March, she defeated Kanyarat Yoohanngoh of Thailand in the WBO Asia Pacific Boxing Match’s minimum-weight category on points after 10 rounds to give her this title shot.
“I am very happy and proud. I would never have imagined that I would make my world champion dream come true,” said Nhi.
“I brought Việt Nam’s spirit and willingness into this fight in all 10 hard rounds. This victory is for my family and my supporters.”
Nguyễn Thị Thu Nhi of Việt Nam (left) lands a punch on Japan’s Etsuko Tada on her way to victory. — Photo courtesy of Cocky Buffalo Gym
Nhi was considered the underdog compared to her 40-year-old opponent in both experience and record.
While Tada has recorded 26 matches with 20 wins (seven KOs), three draws and three losses, Nhi has fought just four matches winning them all.
“I was a little nervous prior to the match because Tada is really strong and experienced. However, after two first rounds, I found she was not as scary as I thought. I recognised her weaknesses and did my job better than her, and I won,” Nhi said, adding that the belt was priceless because she won it after months of practising locally because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking about his boxer, South Korean promoter Kim Sang-bum, organiser of the fight, said this WBO title match was one of the biggest competitions of the year.
Prior to it, many people thought Nhi could not make her task but Kim himself believed in Nhi who he has coached for several years.
He said Nhi has good technique while her physique has been improved a lot after two months’ training in Uzbekistan. — VNS
Nguyễn Thị Thu Nhi of Việt Nam (left) attacks the more experienced Etsuko Tada. — Photo courtesy of Cocky Buffalo Gym
Nguyễn Thị Thu Nhi of Việt Nam (left) suffered an eye injury during the fight but still held on to be crowned world champion. — Photo courtesy of Cocky Buffalo Gym