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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Four boxing stars banned for Australia fights

Four boxing stars banned for Australia fights

Four boxing stars banned for Australia fights

THE Cambodian Amateur Boxing Federation have banned star kickboxers Outh Phouthang, Chey Kosal, and brothers Pich Seyha and Pich Sophan from competing at home following their unapproved trips to Australia for prizefights.

Federation President Oum Yourann confirmed that the fighters have been dismissed because they went to Australia “without asking permission” from the governing body.

“[We] not only delete their names from the Cambodian Amateur Boxing Federation list, also their names in soldiers and military police [lists],” he said. “We are now preparing to file a complaint to people who guaranteed them to fight in Australia.”

“We have banned them since they returned in July,” stated Oum Yourann, adding that the dismissal will be officially announced at a press conference after the Pchum Ben holiday.

Boxers knocked out by ban
Chey Kosal expressed his shock at the decision. “I don’t know what happed,” he said. “When we [returned] back from fighting in Australia for two months and half, President Oum Yourann stopped us [from fighting].”

The Siem Reap legend also noted his dismay at being booted out of his military position, and prohibited from becoming a trainer or committee member. “They want us to become civilians,” he remarked. “I am really saddened. I have been working in this career about 10 years already. At the end I have nothing.”

Chey Kosal claimed the federation had not given the fighters a real reason for the ban. “[They] just said that we went to Australia without confirming with them,” he stated.

“I want to apply to fight as a civilian, [but] they did not allow [it],” he revealed. “So at the present time, I am working as motodop.”

Fellow banned boxer Pich Sophan insisted that the group of fighters had already asked for permission to travel to Australia, which was duly granted by the federation.

“They allowed us three months,” he said. “But the real reason they stop us is because they were angry with us, and wanted to give us a problem.”

Pich Sophan also claimed that the federation had rejected an offer of a written apology from the four fighters. “I have tried all my best to fight for the Cambodian Amateur Boxing Federation, but in the end I’ve been left with only scars from wounds,” he retorted.

Sibling Pich Seiha said the reason behind travelling abroad to fight internationally was purely financial. “We want to [travel] abroad to fight to get more money to support our lives,” he said. “In this country, it difficult to [earn] money, and you do not get much.”

With the ban on sporting and military activities, Pich Seiha realised life would become even harder.

“Now I have no job,” he admitted. “I [can] only stay at home because I have no other skills. It’s difficult for us because [the federation] have power, they can do what they want. Why can other boxers go abroad to fight, and we cannot?”

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