A US-born Cambodian boxer has become WBA Asia South Heavyweight champion after beating his Indonesian opponent in the first round.
Eric Pen won the WBA Asia South Heavyweight title after beating Satria Antasena in the first round of their bout in Ho Chi Minh City.
Pen, 27, took just just two minutes 50 seconds to knock out Antasena in their meeting at the weekend.
“I always believe I can finish the opponent in the first. I plan to extend the match to the fourth but didn’t miss my chance to get the finish,” Pen told Vietnamese media after the win.
Pen’s parents left Cambodia to live in the United States in 1984. Born in the USA, Pen chooses to represent Cambodia in competition. Currently, Pen trains in Vietnam and considers it his home.
His boxing attire, emblazoned with Cambodia and Vietnam flags, represents the country of his heritage as well as that of his new home. Pen trains at the Saigon Sports Club in Vietnam.
“I have not had a specific plan this year but I am sure I will try to fight more. I continue to practice in Vietnam and hope to go to Cambodia to play. I would like to thank the Vietnamese fans. Actually, Vietnam is my first home, “Pen said.
The WBA Asia belt is a prestigious belt managed by the World Boxing Association. WBA Asia (formerly known as the Eurasian Boxing Council, also known as EPBC) is an organisation that regularly organizes professional Boxing tournaments in Central Asia, Oceania, Pan Pacific, Eurasia and Southeast Asian countries.
The organisation was founded in 2014, having its first headquarters in Seoul. In February, 2017 WBA Asia was associated with the WBA (World Boxing Association) by decision of WBA president Gilberto Jesus Mendoza.
“Vietnam showed where is very promising country for boxing, said organisers. “WBA ASIA successfully landed in Vietnam last January. This time, we are excited because this is the very first championship bout for a Cambodian boxer. Eric Pen becomes the new WBA ASIA SOUTH Heavyweight Champion with an overwhelming performance. Vietnamese spectators are happy to watch this event, and the promoter Mr. Chris Luu promised to do his best for Vietnam professional boxing.”