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First Angkor King Fight ready to make history

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The 10 Cambodian Kun Khmer boxers and their top Chinese counterparts (not pictured) are set to face off in the first ‘Angkor King Fight’ on April 10. CHHORN NORN

First Angkor King Fight ready to make history

The “Angkor King Fight” event – to be held in front of Angkor Wat temple in Siam Reap province on April 20 – is the first martial arts event ever to match the top fighters from Cambodia against those from China.

All involved value the cooperation that made this event possible – with the Chinese main sponsor of this event considering it a demonstration of the millennial friendship between the two nations that should be written into history.

Guo Yang, director of Longhai Fight Club, told a news conference last week that “The Cambodia-China friendship has been set in stone for a long time, with sports being a bridge between the two countries in terms of culture and education. The collaboration required to hold this event in front of Angkor Wat for the first time shows why Cambodian-Chinese relations have lasted for thousands of years.”

“Angkor Wat is the birthplace of traditional Khmer martial arts, so there is a deeper meaning behind these fights. I believe this event will be recorded in history. At the same time, I hope that through this competition, many people will come to Cambodia and learn about its culture of martial arts and help Khmer boxing to become famous in China and other parts of the world. This event is also expected to help the recovery of the tourism sector in Cambodia,” aded the Chinese trainer.

Chen Yahong, a representative of the Huo Nan provincial external relations office, said: “the organisation of the tournament in front of Angkor Wat is very meaningful because Angkor Wat is the site of Khmer civilization – just as Huo Nan is the source of Chinese culture and martial arts. The Shaolin Temple and Tai Chi martial arts, which are world heritage, originated there. This event will create a new business card for Cambodian-Chinese relations.”

Secretary general of the olympic committee Vath Chamroeun confirmed that Cambodia intends to use the event to launch a new campaign which promotes national sporting identity. The first Southeast Asian Games council meeting will be held in Siem reap from April 8 to 10.

“We are organising the first boxing match in Angkor – this is a good time to draw the attention of other ASEAN countries that will attend this meeting. It will encourage support of Khmer martial artists and perhaps inspire other nations to attend the 2023 SEA Games in Phnom Pehn. Through Minister of National Defence Tea Bahn – also chairman of the Cambodian SEA Games Organizing Committee, Prime Minister Hun Sen has launched a campaign to promote national sport identity,” he said.

“The government has tasked the National Committee with disseminating this campaign, so on the 10th of April, Picheay Sena will officially announce it,” he added.

Among the fighters who will compete in the first “Angkor King Fight”, there are two Kun Khmer boxers – as Van Voeun will face Chinese boxer Sei Zi Qin and Chhut Sereyvanthong will clash with Su Ke Xin in the same 57.5kg category.

The other eight pairs will compete in kick boxing formulas in which Nou Sreypov will face Li Li Shan in the women’s 52kg category, Tanh Makara will meet Gao Xi Feng in men’s 65kg and Sot Veasna will compete with Yang Hua in the men’s 60kg. Lao Chetra will face Wei Wei Yang in the 64kg while handsome boxer Lao Chantra will fight with Luo Chao and Chhoeung Lvei will meet Han Wen Bao in the same 71kg class. Prum Samnang will face Wang Ao Gang in the 80kg and Phal Sophoan will face off against Chinese Wei Rui in the 65kg main card.

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