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‘King of Kun Khmer ISI Palm-ISI Pipe’ continues with 5 bouts

Jose Rodriguez T. Senase / Khmer Times Share:
Rith Sastravuth (right) defeats Morn Vanny on their return bout at the PNN TV Cambodia studio. KT/Yeun Punleau

The ‘King of Khmer ISI Palm-ISI Pipe’ rolled again last weekend with five bouts featuring some of the best and promising Kun Khmer fighters in Cambodia.

The five bouts on Sunday marked the second time that PNN TV hosted the popular boxing programme after it was temporarily halted last month upon the recommendation of the president of the Kun Khmer Federation.

That recommendation was later overruled by Prime Minister Hun Sen, who said the matches can continue provided they follow the guidelines intended to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the Kingdom.

In the first bout, Sun Bunsann defeated Mao Rithy in the 54kg category. The second bout ended with Pich Kakada winning his match against Chhorn Chheangran in the 57kg division.

The third bout was won by Long Rany, who punched and kicked his opponent to submission in the 57kg class. In the first of the two co-main events, Thun Eanlai beat Morn Phearom in the 54kg division. Rith Ssastravuth emerged as the winner in the second co-main event after a masterful performance against Morn Vanny in another 54kg bout.

The Morn versus Rith bout was a return match after Morn defeated Rith the first time around.

“All the bouts went to three rounds,” said Samnob, head of sports at PNN TV Cambodia, indicating that they were hard and closely fought matches.

While the prizes for the winners of the first three bouts are confidential, the fighters in the co-main events usually receive the same amount that Cambodians receive in international bouts.

“That is between $300 and $500,” Sreng said.

Just like in the past weekend, the matches were held with no audience sitting courtside at the PNN TV Cambodia studio to minimise the risk of virus spread.

Samnob said such programmes will help Cambodia produce outstanding boxers in time for international competitions, including the 2023 Southeast Asian Games.

According to him, they focused mainly on the new generation of boxers.

“Last weekend and before that, we have a new generation of boxers, mostly 24 and 27 years old. If this continues, for sure we will produce many outstanding or Level A boxers. But I am not sure if we will be able to continue or not. It depends on the sponsor,” he noted.

ISI Group, a leading business conglomerate in Cambodia, is the exclusive sponsor for the event.

Aside from PNN TV, Town Full HDTV, Bayon TV and many other TV stations in Cambodia host regular boxing programmes. Boxing has a very large following in this country of 16 million people.

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