Han Zi Hao Gets Redemption, Beats Pinto In Long-Awaited Rematch
Han Zi Hao has finally avenged his 2016 loss to his old foe, Victor “Leo” Pinto.
The Chinese athlete scored a unanimous decision victory in their ONE Super Series Muay Thai bantamweight clash at ONE: NEXTGEN II, which aired from the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, 12 November.
Right out of the gate, Han pressed forward and touched up Pinto with a variety of punches, which at first drew a smile from the Frenchman – until he realized his opponent meant business. The Chinese striker then clobbered his rival with three-piece combinations.
From there, Han sized up his opponent with an extended left arm and threw a right cross to the chin, which sent “Leo” crashing to the canvas. Pinto scrambled back to his feet to answer the referee’s eight count and managed to survive the final 10 seconds of the round.
At the start of round two, it was Pinto’s turn to send his opponent to the mat.
Just as Han went to throw a right low kick, the Frenchman uncorked a short left hook. Han fell but rebounded quickly, threw his arms in the air, and motioned to the referee that he was okay. The referee, however, gave him a standing eight count to make sure.
Shortly after they resumed, an inadvertent eye poke from Han brought the action to a pause. Once Pinto recovered, he was forced to withstand a multitude of punches from his Chinese opponent – and this time, the shots landed on his rival’s body and head.
In the final stanza, and with one knockdown apiece, the victory was anyone’s to grab. Han held on just a little bit tighter and longer, though. He stayed busy with punches and evaded almost all of Pinto’s attacks for two-thirds of the round.
But in the last 60 seconds, “Leo” roared one more time and jolted Han’s jaw with a left high kick, which shot up at the Chinese fighter like he’d stepped on a rake in leaves.
Despite the Frenchman’s late effort, all three judges scored the unanimous decision for Han, who nudged his career record to 64-18.
Read more: ONE: NEXTGEN II – Full Results And Highlights For Every Fight