Tran Van Thao takes first IBA champion bantamweight belt for Vietnam hinh anh 1Vietnamese boxer Tran Van Thao (Photo:
Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnamese boxer Tran Van Thao needed only two minutes to knock out Andrew Laurio of the Philippines to win the International Boxing Association (IBA) bantamweight belt in Ho Chi Minh City late last month.

The fight on September 30 was scheduled for 12 three-minute rounds in the men's bantamweight (52kg) category, but Thao floored Laurio in the second minute of the first round.

Thao, 30, had a near-perfect record going into the fight, with 14 wins (nine knockouts) and just one loss. His best result to date was a World Boxing Council (WBC) Asian Boxing Council Super Flyweight title in 2017 when he floored George Lumoly of Indonesia in Bangkok, Thailand.

He had planned to compete for the IBA title two years ago, but it was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During that time, he could only practise domestically. However, he returned to action with a win over Phayom Boonruean of Thailand in February and the SEA Games in May.

"I have been working really really hard because I know that only by training every day and doing everything with best effort I will grab good results. This KO result, therefore, is not a surprise to me," Thao said.

He has become the first Vietnamese male world boxing champion./.