Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - First IPCC-sanctioned Kun Khmer international event kicks off this weekend



First IPCC-sanctioned Kun Khmer international event kicks off this weekend

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Cambodian Kun Khmer Boxer Soda Koman (right) throws an overhand punch to Long Benloeun during the qualifying round on March 12. TOWN ARENA

First IPCC-sanctioned Kun Khmer international event kicks off this weekend

The first International Professional Combat Council (IPCC)-sanctioned Kun Khmer event will be held in Kampong Speu province on April 23. The “WURKZ Khmer Boxing” event is the first in the Kingdom to be sanctioned by the IPCC, a global organisation of combat sport promoters.

The top 12 Kun Khmer fighters who won their Town Arena qualifiers on March 12 were allotted into groups at a press conference on April 2. With total prize money of up to 120 million riel ($30,000) on the line, each of the boxers has demonstrated that he has the strong will needed to compete for the 65kg international championship title.

Each of the stakeholders – including the organisers, the sponsors and the leaders of the Khmer Boxing Federation – consider the joint creation of the IPCC KUN KHMER event as important in the promotion of Khmer boxing, and agree that the tournament will increase its global presence. In particular the event will help strengthen the abilities of the local Kun Khmer fighters so they will prepared to represent their country when Cambodia hosts the historic 32nd Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in 2023.

President of the Cambodian Boxing Federation Tem Moeun said during the press conference: “The WURKZ Khmer Boxing Event is one of the newest and biggest programmes of 2022. It will strengthen the capacity and training of the Khmer boxers – who hope to raise the profile of Khmer martial arts – when they compete at the Kingdom’s first home SEA Games.”

“This program will write a new chapter in the history of the promotion of traditional Khmer martial arts to the world. WURKZ energy drink – produced solely by Cambodians – is both honoured and proud to co-present this event to all Khmer boxing fans,” said Kong Kosal, marketing director of Khmer beverages.

IPCC Representative in Cambodia and Advisor to Town Group, Kim Srun Kosal, said: “Kun Khmer Martial Arts is welcomed as a member of the IPCC Family. The efforts of those working with Khmer boxing have helped the world to get excited about the vibrancy and wide range of unique moves of this martial art. This style of boxing is a source of great pride for the people of the nation – this success comes from the united spirit of the Khmer people.”

The top 12 qualifiers have been divided into two groups. Group A features Chan Bunhoeun, Kan Chantha, Elite Sokhuch, Phal Sophoan, Khon Bola and Som Vichay, while Group B consists of Mon Prohm Manh, Thun Chantak, Long Benloeun, Rin Sarath, Sot Bunthy and Som Piseth.

IPCC’s Srun Kosal told the Post on Sunday that three IPCC KUN KHMER championship qualifiers will be held each week in the cities-provinces, following the international marathon boxing event that will open the competition.

Kosal revealed that two foreign boxers will compete against the top two Cambodians in the opening day’s international marathon. He declined to name them, but said they are powerful fighters with strong abilities, and both are famous in the sport.

In the IPCC KUN KHMER Championship, the winner stands to take home a purse of 48 million riel, with runner up receiving half the amount. The third and fourth place fighters will each collect 8 million Riel. Even those who fail to make it out of round one will each return home with a prize of four million riel.

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