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Phi seals victory, claims belt

HANOI (ANN/VIETNAM NEWS) – In a historic moment for Vietnamese sports, Truong Cao Minh Phat etched his name in the annals of glory as he secured the WBC Muay Thai super-featherweight (59kg) world title on November 19 in HCM City.

The Saigon Sports Club played witness to Phat’s remarkable achievement during the Muay Thai Rampage (MTR): Call of Honour, as he delivered a decisive knockout to Iranian contender Mostafa Armand in the fourth round of the match.

With this victory, Phat not only claimed the coveted world championship but also made history by becoming Vietnam’s first-ever world champion in the realm of Muay Thai.

This was the first time a world title bout was held in Vietnam. The event was jointly organised by the World Boxing Council Muay Thai and Shadow Entertainment.

Phat won his career’s first international title when he claimed his WBC Muay Thai International belt at the MTR: The Rising Stars in July, also in HCM City.

The result pushed him to No 6 in the world and secured his place in the world title match.

On November 19, the Vietnamese met with big trouble in the first round when Armand successfully blocked his left punches.

Phat switched to attack with powerful kicks in the second round and he gradually swung the balance. The third round saw his consecutive attacks that pushed Armand into defence. He mostly tried to avoid Phat’s combo of high kicks and uppercuts, having no chance to fight back, but fell down for the first time at the two thirds time of this round.

Armand’s effort ended in the fourth round after he took a heavy flying knee from the host fighter.

Armand, 25, collapsed to the floor for the second time and referee began the count. The Iranian tried to stand up but he was too exhausted to continue.

Phat, 28, was announced the champion with a knockout, a result that he promised at the press briefing prior to the match.

“I am extremely happy with the championship title,” said Phat after donning his belt.

“Thank you everybody for coming to cheer and encourage me. I hope that my achievement will be a milestone in Vietnam’s martial art history. I also expect that this world title will be a motivation for all Vietnamese fighters to go further in the world of martial arts.

“I also have to say thanks to the organisers, my coaches and teammates who have strongly supported me to prepare for this match. A big thank for all, thank you!”

Earlier in the night, Vietnamese Huynh Hoang Phi bagged his first international title after he floored Elamghari Ayoub of Morocco in the WBC Muay Thai International bantamweight (54kg) title bout.

The WBC Muay Thai Vietnam champion Phi was No 18 in the world, five steps below his rival. However, Phi, 26, proved his power from early on.

Phi, the underrated fighter in this match, completely took the initiative. He continuously pressured 27-year-old Ayoub, and at the same time delivered strong kicks on his opponent who fell down only halfway through the first round.

Ayoub hit the floor three times in the early second round after Phi’s straight punches and kicks on his stomach.

In the ensuing seconds, Ayoub collapsed twice and his coaches had to throw in the towel for surrender.

“First of all I want to say thank you to everyone for supporting me,” said Phi.

“When I knew that I would have a title match, I researched my rival carefully. Together with coach Nhon and other members of the team, we worked really hard.

“Now that I won this belt I can say that I was really confident for a knockout, but I could not think that I could make it in the second round. Again, thank you coach Nhon and everyone for helping me taking this belt.”

Phi became the fourth Vietnamese fighter to be WBC Muay International champion, following his coach Nguyen Ke Nhon (2018), Huynh Ha Huu Hieu, and Truong Cao Minh Phat (2023).

In other matches, Tran Quoc Tuan technically knocked out Wanphichit Siriphana in the 67kg pool.

Tran Tuan Anh was knocked out by Armando de Crescenzo in the 79kg category.

Nguyen Van Duc Nghia defeated Jorn Hiep Phan in the 63kg bout.

Phan Trọng Hieu won against Nguyen Thanh Thoan in the 60kg category.

Truong Cao Minh Phat of Vietnam (left) gives a high kick to Mostafa Armand of Iran during the WBC Muay Thai super-featherweight (59kg) world title on November 19 in HCM City. PHOTO: ANN/VIETNAM NEWS SOURCE