CTN’s inaugural televised bokator tournament was held on Monday with eight bouts of varying weight categories running to almost three hours of live coverage. San Kim Sean, President and founder of the Cambodian Bokator Federation, hailed the collaboration between Cintri, the capital’s waste disposal company, and CTN in hosting the event which showcased combat in the Cambodian discipline also known as Labokator rather than performances for the first time.
“I am very happy with the lengthy efforts and patience shown to reach this day. I will endeavour to preserve this ancient martial art and help it gain notoriety, and I have learnt that Labokator has attracted many Cambodian fans.”
In Monday’s clash between two 19-year-olds, Ros Socheat’s superior techniques proved decisive as the Phnom Penh’s Angkor Reach Club fighter pulled off a tidy win over But Phearin in the 52kg class.
In the only fight involving a foreigner, Frenchman Derek Bidaut overcame 21-year-old Luy Vibich from Siem Reap in the 65kg division.
Pin Samnang, representing Mohanokor Siem Reap Club, had no qualms handling a rival seven years his junior in the 57kg category. Holding the red corner, the 29-year-old Samnang was all over the younger Pursat fighter Chhut Chhunly.
Our Dara did his Angkor Reach Club proud by winning his 60kg fight over Poch Chhat of Yeay Pring Meanrith Club in Kampong Chhnang, while Poch Chhat’s clubmate Chan Kroeurn fell to Sean Sokha.
Chhorn Chhunry rounded off a miserable outing for Yeay Pring Meanrith Club by beating Pich Kongly in their 67kg fight. The 22-year-old Chhunry had his 28-year-old opponent in knots most of the way.
There was nothing much to choose when it came to the build between Inh Seang of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh fighter Sarin Vichet but, in a close call, Seang proved more resourceful in the 65kg clash.
Nuon Anoch left very little to chance as he grabbed control of his fight against Phorng Dara in another Siem Reap v Phnom Penh match-up. The 29-year-old Anoch brought his vast fighting experience to bear against his much younger opponent.
Our Dara, a 21-year-old student at Panhasastra University, said he had ignored concerns from his parents over the brutality of the sport to make good on his three years of training with coach Pan Kideth.
“After I explained to [my parents] about the advantages of the ancient martial art and its television appeal, they agreed to let me continue,” he said.
Organisers said they hoped to repeat the evening of fights at CTN Arena on a monthly basis.