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TVK Fighter changes up format to attract more fans

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Cambodian Kun Khmer boxer Thorn Rithy (left) will fight Thai boxer Kram Sitkamnan Leur in an international friendly at the TVK Fighter event on June 2. SUPPLIED

TVK Fighter changes up format to attract more fans

TVK Fighter has decided to change the format of its boxing tournament in a bid to make it more attractive to fans as well as more competitive with other TV stations in the Kingdom.

For its two bouts per month – or one every two weeks – the state-run TV station focused on matches between local boxers because they wanted to promote them and provide opportunities for Cambodia’s next generation to compete more often, hone their skills and earn a steady income to support their families.

However, this format was not proving to be popular enough, so TVK Fighter have decided to change up their events. Their June 1 fight will be their first international friendly – and the fighters will be using wraps rather than boxing gloves.

“We actually wanted to keep the matches between local fighters, but these were not very popular,” said Mul Ny, head of TVK Fighter promotion. “The number of spectators is small, so we hope to change that by adding one international match. The other four fights will be between talented locals, but in all five the boxers will wear yarn hand-wraps, not boxing gloves.”

The international fight will give Khmer boxer Thorn Rithy, better known as Thai Rith, a chance to avenge his assistant coach Meun Sophea. The event organiser pointed out that Rithy’s opponent – Thai boxer Kram Sitkamnan Leur – had defeated Sophea in a previous match. The two will meet in the 72kg division.

In the other hand-wrap fights of the day, Sek Kimphark will face Chet Sophy in a 63.5kg bout while Em Channy will fight against Rith Chaochet in the 60kg class. Soda Sokhim will clash with Chun Roeun Saroth in the 54kg weight category, while Thorn Borey will face Soda Malay in the 51kg match-up.

“The introduction of an international fight is certainly an attraction for fans, but it means our event will cost more. However, we always want to keep things fresh for the fans, so from this week we will launch the hand-wrap bouts and add regular international clashes. In the future – if the new format attracts the viewers and sponsors we think it will – we will consider adding more international matches,” Ny added.

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