World Fight Tournament ready to rumble

Buakaw Banchamek (right) and Varats Dzmitry will square off in the World Fight Kun Khmer Series at Morodok Techo National Stadium on July 6. PROVIDED

Thai boxing ‘king’ Buakaw Banchamek, who has been inactive for three years, has revealed his plans to impress against Belarusian champion Varats Dzmitry at the World Fight Tournament on July 6.

Bukhav arrived in Phnom Penh on July 4 and posted the message “See you on 6 Kun Khmer” on social media. He also posted several videos of intense workouts.

“I competed in Cambodia before, but because of the Covid-19 crisis, I missed three years. However, I didn’t rest, but I trained,” he said.

“I have never met this fighter, but I have watched pictures of him and I think it will be an interesting and exciting fight for the spectators. I have already participated twice in Cambodia, but the World Fight Tournaments are the biggest Cambodian event so far,” added the self-styled boxing king of Thailand.

Vath Chamroeun, Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, considered the event a great chance to promote Khmer Kun.

“Please stop arguing about Kun Khmer Martial Arts and Muay Thai! When we compete abroad we compete in Muay Thai, but in Cambodia we compete in Kun Khmer. They develop their sport, we are developing our sport,” he said.

Two recent SEA Games gold medalists, Mean Mekhea and Beut Sangkum, were ready to introduce Kun Khmer to the world.

“Although in the matches I participated in kickboxing competitions, returning to Kun Khmer is no problem. It is the basis of my fighting skills. I am determined to win and raise my reputation and that of my nation’s martial art,” Sangkum said.

“Even though I am a gold medalist at the SEA Games in Vovinam, there is not much pressure in this Kun Khmer martial arts competition because I have trained a lot so far. We are Cambodians and must protect our image. I am resolved. I will beat my Brazilian opponent and raise the profile of Kun Khmer,” added Mekhea.

The event, which will be held at the Morodok Techo National Stadium, features six fights.

Kristen T. Prall