Well-known Cambodian Kun Khmer exponent Prom Samnang drew plaudits for his sportsmanship during his December 23 victory over American fighter Harry Lopez.

During the Kun Khmer International Fight Promotions (KKIF) event, held in Pursat province’s Krakor district, Samnang landed one of his vicious trademark elbows to the American’s head, opening a huge cut and causing his opponent to begin bleeding profusely.

After landing the right elbow to the left of Lopez’s head, Samnang saw the damage he had done. He immediately knelt before his opponent, in a sign of respect.

Samnang, whose reputation suffered after a recent gloveless defeat at the hands of Canadian-Myanmar Lethwei exponent Dave Leduc, earned the renewed respect of fight fans for the gesture, which came after a dominant performance in the initial phases of the bout.

Following the massive gash, the medical team were forced to call off the match and award the win to Samnang.

With the same gesture of respect, Lopez also knelt before the winner before leaving the ring.

After the fight, Samnang offered his appreciation for Lopez’s efforts, highlighting the importance of respecting every opponent who is prepared to step into the ring, regardless of circumstances.

“I have knocked out many of my opponents, but this time I saw that Lopez’s injury was too severe for him to continue. He is an ambitious and respectful fighter and showed that he would never give up. I was sad to see such a big cut end the fight,” he said.

Samnang, who is known as the “best barber” for his former career, explained that the match-ending blow was intended to strike Lopez in the arm, but the American was unable to block the Cambodian’s famous elbow.

“Although as boxers we are always aiming to be victorious, we must have sympathy and respect for our opponent. Every international fighter is trying to represent the martial art and national pride of their homeland,” he said.