Cambodia – through the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC), the Cambodia Boxing Federation (CBF), and sponsorship from the private sector – is excited to host the World Fight (WF) tournament.
It is expected that the event will promote the precious cultural heritage that is Khmer martial arts. The tournament is scheduled to take place at the Morodok Techo National Stadium on July 6.
Despite WF being newly established, many famous international fighters are on their way to the Kingdom. The twin purposes of the event are to put the spotlight on Cambodian fighters and to serve as a test event ahead of next year’s Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), which Cambodia will host for the first time.
“The NOCC-managed Morodok Techo National Stadium welcomes the opportunity to demonstrate our pride in our state-of-the-art facilities. The event will also help showcase Khmer boxing so that its popularity grows on the international stage. It is also an excellent way to promote support for the journey towards the SEA Games. After waiting 64 years, everything is moving towards the 32nd games,” said Vath Chamroeun, secretary-general of both the NOCC and the Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC).
Tony Anh, the owner and promoter of the event, said WF would also help to stimulate Cambodia’s economy, with 11 tournaments scheduled before the end of the year.
“We are holding these tournaments in Cambodia to promote Khmer boxing and tourism. These events will become important sources of national pride and increased revenue for the Kingdom. I am very pleased that we are all in solidarity with each other as we work towards our goals. I want to thank all of our cooperative partners for joining to create this spectacular event,” he said.
Mil Kado, representative for the education ministry, echoed Anh’s remarks.
“This tournament serves more than one purpose. It will promote Khmer boxing ahead of the SEA Games, and it will contribute to showcasing the Kingdom. Tony Anh raised some very good points, and on behalf of the ministry, I thank all the people whose work went into creating the event,” he said.
Mean Sam Ol, general manager of Red Bull Energy Drink, was proud to sponsor the WF.
“We are very pleased to have become part of this tournament. We have the same goals – we want to advertise Khmer martial arts and encourage Khmer boxers to be well-prepared for next year’s games,” he said.
“We are proud to play a part in advertising Kun Khmer boxing to fans and the world. We are excited to welcome world champions and competitors from around the world,” he added.
The WF event will see Cambodian boxer Kan Meng Hong face Australia’s Dylan Eagle in the 55.3kg category. Gold medallist Beurt Sokhem is set to take on Thai heavyweight Penthep Eakmuangnon in the 57.2kg category and gold medallist Moeun Mekhea will face Brazilian boxer Felype Souza in the 61.2kg category.
The biggest draw of the night is likely to be when Thai boxing king Buakaw Banchamek takes on Belarusian boxer Varats Dzmitry in the 71kg category. Cambodian Touch Chanvatey will also face Estonian boxer Marie Ruumet.
CBF president Tem Moeun told his officials to judge the boxers and give them fair scores. Cambodian boxers would have to do their best to promote Khmer martial arts to the world and should use the tournament as experience to draw on, he suggested.
Mekhea and Sokhem, medallists at the recent SEA Games in Vietnam, were determined to find good results, as their contribution to advertising Khmer martial arts to the world.
“Though I was a medallist in Vovinam at the SEA Games, I do not feel pressure ahead of this Kun Khmer tournament. I have trained hard, and I am Khmer, and I am ready. I am determined to beat my Brazilian opponent to boost the image of our unique martial arts,” Mekhea told The Post.