After a tough fight that lasted ten rounds, Nguyễn Thị Thu Nhi defeated Japanese opponent Etsuko Tada in South Korea on Saturday afternoon to become Vietnam’s first-ever boxer to clinch the World Boxing Organization (WBO) belt.
Despite being less experienced, smaller in size and lower-ranked than Tada, Nhi pulled a close 96-94 judge’s decision. A great win for the Vietnamese boxer who clinched the historic victory just a day after her 25th birthday.
Coming from an underprivileged background, Nhi grew up on the streets of Vietnam selling food and lottery tickets to earn money for her family. She fell in love with martial arts at the age of 14 and then transitioned to boxing following the advice of her coach. Armed with an affinity for martial arts and boxing, she naturally won multiple national gold medals as an amateur. This then saw her competing in professional fights in 2019 when she joined Saigon’s CLB Buffalo boxing club.
In February 2020, she bested Thai boxer Kanyarat Yoohanngoh to claim the WBO Asia-Pacific champion belt. This notable victory paved the way for her to take on Tada and claim her historic title as Vietnam’s first-ever boxer to clinch the WBO medal.
"This is a meaningful victory, to become the first female boxer in Vietnam to win a WBO World belt. I didn’t expect that I’d come this far. I have realized my dream after putting all of my passion and strength into this fight as a Vietnamese citizen. This is a victory for the Vietnamese martial arts scene," Nhi said after Saturday's fight.
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