The National Television of Cambodia (TVK) and China-based LoongHai Fight Club have signed a formal agreement and will collaborate on the organisation of events to boost and promote traditional Khmer boxing. It is hoped that this will increase its fame throughout the world through kickboxing competitions.

While presiding over the May 30 signing ceremony, information minister Khieu Kanharith offered full support to the cooperation, saying: “Both parties have the same will and vision – to create, coordinate and promote the growth of sports in Cambodia.”

“Cambodia has received the full attention and close support of its Chinese friends. This was especially evident during the Covid-19 crisis, when China provided a great deal of vaccine aid. In the spirit of that cooperation, the LoongHai Fight Club will help us search for partners and develop the two countries’ martial arts until they reach the international level,” he added.

LoongHai general director Guo Yang expressed his appreciation for the cooperation of the state-run TV station, saying its desire to promote traditional sports – especially Kun Khmer – was in line with the club’s vision.

“Since the inception of LoongHai Fight Club, we have always strived to promote Kun Khmer martial arts. We have a vision of establishing international competitions in Cambodia, and this work has given us a deeper understanding of Khmer culture,” Guo said.

For almost two years now, the club – with its headquarters in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou in Henan province – has made significant contributions to the Cambodian Boxing Federation, sending its high performance coach Chen Yahong to teach new skills and techniques in kickboxing to the Cambodian national teams, who all have a background in Kun Khmer.

In addition, LoongHai partnered with the Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) and the Kickboxing Federation of Cambodia to host the first-ever “Angkor King Fight” event. Held in front of Angkor Wat in April, it featured matches between Kun Khmer boxers and Chinese kickboxers.

This partnership helped the Cambodian national kickboxing team to set a new record when they participated in the recent 31st SEA Games in Vietnam, winning one gold, three silver and one bronze medals.

Of the SEA Games victories, Guo said: “We are very happy Cambodia achieved these excellent results – they are a source of pride for the Kingdom and for the fight club, who provided support.

“I hope that through this new collaboration, we will be able to jointly build Cambodian fighting events to an international standard. We aim to promote Kun Khmer martial arts to the world and make the boxing industry in Cambodia stronger and more prosperous. This cooperation will also strengthen the cultural ties and friendship between our two nations.”

Khim Vuthy, director-general of TVK, said: “Working with LoongHai will help TVK gain experience, as well as resources, in how it organises sporting events and brings them to the world. LoongHai Fight Club and TVK have the same vision – we will elevate matches to a higher standard.”

“In addition to domestic cooperation, the two sides are examining the possibility of broadcasting from Cambodia to China, and vice versa with major Chinese boxing programmes. This will provide us with excellent experience as we prepare for the live broadcast of the 32nd SEA Games, which Cambodia will host next year,” he added.