Laurio faces Tran for IBA belt in Vietnam

PRINCE Andrew Laurio eyes his first championship belt and faces Vietnamese veteran Van Thao Tran for the vacant International Boxing Association (IBA) bantamweight title on Sept. 30 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

After a three-fight slump before the Covid-19 pandemic, the 23-year-old Laurio bounced back with back-to-back stoppage wins over Ranelio Quizo and Rolly Dorong.

Laurio’s first attempt at a belt was against Joy Joy Formentera for the minor Philippines Visayas Professional Boxing Association super flyweight strap. Formentera beat Laurio via a first round knockout in Liloan, Cebu.

Laurio will have his hands full against what should be his toughest opponent to date in Tran.

The 30-year-old Tran is a former World Boxing Council (WBC) Asian Boxing Council super flyweight champion. He owns wins over Thai prospect Boonrueang Phayom, Aries Buenavidez and Cebu-based Ponciano Remandiman. He also fought the likes of former world champion Billy Dib. Tran lost to Dib via a lopsided unanimous decision in 2019 in Australia.

Laurio is 12-3-1 with nine knockouts, while Tran is 14-1 with nine knockouts.