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.