CHEAM Adam scored a unanimous decision over Poy Neurn Sunday to pocket 5 million riels (US$1,198) and clinch first place in CTN’s inaugural Kun Khmer Champion of Champions tournament.
Four judges scored the fight 99-96. The fifth scored it 99-97.
The experience of Kampong Cham’s Cheam Adam (31-12-2) far exceeded that of Siem Reap’s Poy Neurn (7-3), but the relative novice countered well and went blow for blow in the later rounds of a fight that appeared much closer than the scorecards would indicate.
Poy Neurn, 23, looked determined to push the action early against an opponent well-known for off-the-charts conditioning. He dictated the pace in the first round with low kicks and scored effectively with knees from the clinch in the second, although on a few occasions he strayed low, drawing protests from Cheam Adam and two warnings from referee Treung Sossay.
By the fourth round, with the fight still close, the pair traded a dozen or more elbows and landed kicks with such ferocity that the cracks pierced the roar of the crowd, which had already drowned out the music.
Poy Neurn raised his hands in victory when the final bell rang. During the post-fight ceremony, he embraced Cheam Adam tenderly and twice kissed him on the cheek. Poy Neurn slumped with disappointment as the announcer read the scores.
The eight-man sudden-death tournament began in September with the top four finalists from each season of CTN’s reality television series Kun Khmer Champion.
Cheam Adam, the season-one winner, beat Khon Makara to advance into the tournament final. Poy Neurn, the season-two runner-up, beat Sok Ratha.
On the undercard, Khon Makara demolished Sok Ratha, scoring three knockdowns and a TKO in the second round to win third place.