Update: 18:59 | 10/12/2022
After training with Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao, IBF Asia belt holder Dinh Hong Quan is confident he can defend his title against fellow countryman Arnel Baconaje this December.
"Training with Pacquiao has improved my technique, style and passion. I'm determined to win this match. I will approach him cleverly and carefully. Can I knock him out? The answer will be revealed in the ring," Quan said.
Dinh Hong Quan (L) and Manny Pacquiao (C) in a training session.
Quan became the first Vietnamese boxer to win the IBF Asia lightweight belt in April this year after defeating Filipino boxer Jules Victoriano by points.
On December 10, the 22-year-old boxer will defend his IBF title against Baconaje at The Grand Ho Tram Complex in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province. The event is billed as the "Fortunes of War."
Baconaje, nicknamed The Silencer, had 15 wins after 20 matches, of which 11 were by knockout. The 34-year-old is rated higher than Quan. He also prepared for the match by training with the unified bantamweight world champion Naoya Inoue of Japan. Baconaje arrived in Vietnam earlier this week and said that 12 rounds are not necessary because he will knock Quan out.
Quan responded humbly: "I know my opponent has good speed and the ability to pack constant punches. Many put the money on Baconaje after his training trip with Naoya Inoue. But I have prepared carefully, from physique to technique. I also discussed with my coach the strategy to get the upper hand during the match. Hopefully, I won’t let the fans down."
The event also includes two other title fights. Filipino boxer and SEA Games gold medalist Charly Suarez will face Indonesia’s Defry Palulu for the IBF Asia super-featherweight belt. Song Chan Ho, WBO Oriental champion from South Korea, will defend his super-lightweight title against Thai boxer Anusong Thonglueang.
Quan has nine wins and one loss so far in his pro boxing career.