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Cambodians test Lethwei mettle

Ismail Vorajee / Khmer Times Share:
Roeung Sophorn and Pich Mtes Khmang will be starring at WLC: Heartless Tigers.​ Courtesy CTT

A pair of Cambodian fighters will test their mettle tomorrow against some of Myanmar’s best in World Lethwei Championship’s latest event – WLC: Heartless Tigers in Myanmar.

The event will see the debut of Kun Khmer star Roeung Sophorn who will face off against Myanmar’s own Yan Naing Tun. Sophorn is WLC’s latest marquee signing and will bring the attention of millions of fans in his home country as he makes his lethwei debut. The Kun Khmer fighter carries a record of 141 wins, with 17 losses and just three draws.

Cambodia’s Pich Mtes Khmang will also be in action and has been drawn in a lightweight bout against Mite Yine.

Speaking at Pochentong airport ahead of his departure, Sophorn said he was excited and quietly confident.

“Yes, I am ready for Myanmar. Lethwei is exciting to watch and I’m happy to take part,” explained Sophorn.

“I will try to win for Cambodia and especially to promote Cambodian martial arts on the international stage,” he added.

His opponent, Yan Naing Tun said he was prepared for the challenge.

“I am well aware of the reputation that Roeung Sophorn comes with, said the Burmese Welterwight. “It has been a great year for me so far and this is the biggest opportunity for my career. I am excited to take him on and I believe I can beat him.”

Roeung Sophorn and Pich Mtes Khmang will be starring at WLC: Heartless Tigers.​Courtesy CTT

Sophorn and Pich flew out to Yangon alongside Cambodian Top Team coach Chan Reach on Wednesday.

Chairman of World Lethwei Championship, U Zay Thiha, stated, “World Lethwei Championship is returning to Yangon with a bang, with international superstars like Roeung Sophorn coming to compete against the best Burmese lethwei fighters, including Soe Lin Oo who will battle in the main event. This event will captivate the world and catapult Myanmar as an international sports hub.”

In Saturday’s main event, ‘The Ironman’ Soe Linn Oo, who recently knocked out Muay Thai star Iquezhang, will be up against China’s Zhao Wen Wen It will be Soe Lin Oo’s first appearance in World Lethwei Championship since his knockout of WBC Kickboxing Champion Umar Semata last November.

The Burmese fighter recently knocked out Muay Thai champ Iquezang in just over two minutes at the Lethwei Nation fight 2018.

WLC: Heartless Tigers will take place tomorrow in 10,000 seater Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar. The event will be broadcast live on Canal+ Sports at 6.00pm (Cambodia Time).

WLC, a homegrown organisation, held its inaugural event in March 2017. In its mission statement, WLC says it seeks to revolutionise the millennia-old Burmese full-contact martial art of Lethwei with new innovations to showcase it to the world.

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