The new Việt Nam Boxing Federation executive committee has pledged to take the sport to a higher level over the next five years. — Photos courtesy of SSC

Boxing has become more and more popular in Việt Nam in recent years with fighters making remarkable strides around the world.

The growth of the sport can be seen through the booming competitions nationwide and the arrival of recent international tournaments.

Now national boxing is expected to reach higher levels with a new and energic Executive Committee led by President Lưu Tú Bảo taking charge of the Việt Nam Boxing Federation (VBF) in the 2023-28 period.

Strong basis

In its first working term, VBF did huge job making boxing a popular sport in the community.

VBF assisted its members in profession and organisation and called for support from enterprises to fund for tournaments and pay bonuses to winning fighters.

New VBF President Lưu Tú Bảo (right) will use his experience to make Việt Nam a strong boxing hub. — Photo courtesy of SSC

Many large-scale competitive tournaments such as Let's Viet and Steel Arena – Number One Cup were held and featured many strong athletes along with national competitions for seniors and junior boxers.

Việt Nam boxers also brought home one gold and four bronze medals from the 2017 Asian championship; one bronze from the 2019 world championship; one silver from the 2022 world champions, medals from three recent SEA Games and earned two places at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

In the field of professional boxing, Việt Nam became a favourite destination of WBO, WBA, WBC and IBF bouts while Vietnamese athletes such as Nguyễn Thị Thu Nhi, Trần Văn Thảo, Trương Đình Hoàng and Đinh Hồng Quân all triumphed.

"In the first working period, VBF made remarkable progress for national boxing. Việt Nam boxing has made its position internationally," said Trần Văn Mạnh, general secretary of the Việt Nam Olympic Committee.

"VBF is one of the federations doing a great job in popularising its sport, luring many people watching and taking part in boxing."

New chapter

New VBF President Bảo is not a stranger to the domestic fighting community.

He is currently President of the HCM City Mixed Martial Arts Federation and Vice President of the HCM City Boxing Federation.

Bảo is director of the Saigon Sport Club (SSC), a leading Asia’s largest mixed martial arts and cross training centre offering various disciplines accessible to everybody including boxing.

SSC has hosted and organised many international boxing competitions such as the WBA Asia Boxing Championship, SSC Championship Events, SSC Interclub Boxing & Muay Thai which lured attention and appreciation of continental fighters, experts and supporters.

SSC has been a strategic partner and sponsor of VBF since 2022, providing billions of đồng in training activities and organising national competitions.

After his successful run for the hot seat, Bảo and his crew have mapped out a strategic plan for Việt Nam's boxing over the next five years.

"As the only boxing organisation recognised by the state, VBF's key goals in this term are to ensure a more active supporting role in the development of Vietnamese boxing and codify the management regulations of boxing activities in the country," Bảo told Việt Nam News.

VBF aims to take at least two Vietnamese boxers to the Paris Olympics in 2024. while organising more professional tournaments in the country over the next five years. — Photo courtesy of SSC

"We will build a strong, professional and transparent VBF which will push the boxing movement nationwide by popularising it in schools, sport centres and clubs. Recruitment, training and coaching activities will be strengthened. Information and rules of boxing will be regularly updated.

"We will coordinate with the Sports Authority of Việt Nam to organise high quality competitions for amateur boxing. Talented and potential athletes will be sent abroad for further training. Domestic and international training courses for coaches and referees will be organised so that they would work internationally.

"At the same time, we will work with world professional boxing federations and associations to promote and develop professional boxing. We plan to organise open tournaments so that athletes could sharpen their skills and strengthen their competitiveness."

Bảo added that VBF would strengthen its relationship and cooperation with regional and international bodies in organising tournaments.

During his reign, Bảo hoped that he could seek sponsorship and mobilise more private resources to support VBF's activities and earn better results for Việt Nam at major competitions.

"All members of the VBF's executive committee agree to set a target of winning at least two places at the 2024 Paris Olympics and 2026 Asian Games and bring home medals," said Bảo.

VBF will set up a commission which will take charge of organising international professional boxing tournaments. Vietnamese athletes will horn at these events and earn their better results when they take part in world-leveled competitions. — VNS