A new international Kun Khmer boxing event called World Fight Tournaments 2022 (WF) will be organised on Cambodian soil for the first time in July, with many top boxers from around the world expected to join the combat. Recent SEA Games gold medalists from Kickboxing and Kun Khmer will make appearances and fight strong boxers from abroad.

At the May 26 signing ceremony of the partnership, the manager of PTT (Cambodia) Ltd – the exclusive sponsor of the tournament – as well as the owner and promoters of WF, claimed the new event is designed to help strengthen and promote Khmer boxing, boosting its global recognition and elevating the sport on the international stage.

PTT Cambodia managing director Nuttapong Kaewtrakulpong told reporters during the signing ceremony: “The World Fight Tournament is a world-class event. Being the sponsor, PTT wants the world to know the potential of Cambodia as a venue for the best Kun Khmer and kickboxing event in the world as well as showcasing our ability to organise such a festival of combat.”

“More importantly, PTT and its products will jointly promote the pride of Cambodians across the country, as they welcome champions from around the world to help increase national income. Like the government slogan says – if Khmer can do, Khmer win,” added Nuttapong.

The inaugural WF will kick off its first bout at the Morodok Techo National Stadium on July 6, with live broadcasts on Bayon TV from 5pm to 7pm. Although the organisers have not yet revealed all of the entrants, top boxer Buakaw Banchamek has already been matched, in a clash with dangerous Belarusian opponent Varats Dzmitry.

Some strong Kun Khmer boxers will be unveiled later, while SEA gold medalists Yen Dina and Meun Mekhea – as well as the bronze medalist Amarin Phuthong – appeared as honorary guests at the partnership signing ceremony. Representatives of Miss Wisdom World Cambodia and Miss Model of the World (Thailand) also joined the event.

Tony Anh, the owner and promoter of World Fight, said: “World Fight has the clear goal of helping to promote Kun Khmer boxing and to increase its standing in the world. This means that Khmer martial arts exponents will soon be able to fight in world championship events because it will bring strong boxers from all over the world to compete to promote tourism – and especially boxing – in collaboration with the National Sports Federation and the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia.”

“As you all know, Cambodia will host the SEA Games in 2023. World Fight will be the biggest sporting event of 2022 and this competition will help improve the quality and ability of Khmer boxing. WF will have up to 11 tournaments from July to December, with our main goal being to help Khmer boxers gain the abilities to compete in world championship level events,” he added.

Kong Visal, adviser to the tournament, said: “We have been working hard for many months to bring this great event to our country. WF will have famous fighters from around the world coming to Cambodia and competing, so we hope that you and all fans of Kun Khmer boxing and kickboxing will give big support to the fighters.”