The Saigon Sports Club Championship II on Sep. 13 pitted fighters from Vietnam, Nepal, Bulgaria, Thailand and Malaysia against one another over five bouts. Weight classes ranged from flyweight to welterweight at the second event this year for the sport on Huynh Tan Phat, a stone’s throw from Phu My Bridge. SEA Games champion Truong Dinh Hoang and SEA Games silver medalist Nguyen Van Hai were among the fighters on the card, with most local talent coming from Saigon and Binh Duong boxing clubs.
Replete with thumping bass, swiveling lights and ring girls in heels carrying cards between rounds, it had most of the makings of a Western-style event. Some differences included no beer sales on the premises, but VIP (and VVIP) spectators were treated to complimentary egg tarts. Beer might have been better.
Regardless, the 2,000-odd fight fans who filed through the doors couldn’t complain about the price, with tickets provided at no cost. If this helps grow an appetite for boxing in the city and nationwide, then here’s hoping there’ll be a third fight card in the coming months.
To see more on the championships, click on facebook.com/sscchampionship