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Kao Roomchang stays on top; Vung Noy escapes by decision


Vung Noy narrowly escaped a loss to underdog Nuon Mony Sunday in the CTN lightweight tournament while Kao Roomchang cruised past Song Saruth.

IN lightweight tournament action at CTN Sunday, first-place Kao Roomchang outpointed sixth-place Song Saruth, and fourth-place Vung Noy squeaked past last-place Nuon Mony.

The outcomes did not affect tournament rankings and, with two fights left, Kao Roomchang remains in first place with a record of 5-0. Van Chanvey stays in second place with a record of 4-1 (3 knockouts), while Long Sophy is third at 4-1 (1 knockout), and Vung Noi lies in fourth on 3-2 (2 knockouts).

The eight-man, round-robin tournament began July 19, and the winner, as determined by wins and knockouts, will earn a shot at the lightweight title against Commando 911 fighter Lao Sinath.

With the victory Sunday, Kao Roomchang moved a step closer towards clinching the first title shot of his short, two-year career. Turning in a playful yet workmanlike performance Sunday, he wowed the crowds with some flying kicks, easily doing enough to earn the victory.

“I can’t run with him,” Song Saruth said before the fight, with a quick shake of his head and a vague look of resignation despite producing a fine effort, landing hard kicks to the body and scoring with knees through all five rounds. He neutralized Kao Roomchang in the clinch and finished the fight with a spirited, final-round charge.

Still, it wasn’t nearly enough. Except for parts of the final round, Kao Roomchang stalked Song Saruth around the ring and dictated the pace of the fight. He landed a couple of clean elbows in the second, and twice landed flying front kicks to Song Saruth’s face in the fourth.

In the fifth round, as Song Saruth came charging, Kao Roomchang effortlessly raised his game, landing head-snapping punches and powerful kicks to the body to keep the fight out of reach.

Kao Roomchang faces Naem Chenda on October 1, and Long Sophy on October 28.

Nuon Mony denied

In the second match of the afternoon, Nuon Mony countered well and stayed elusive to frustrate Vung Noy, who struggled to cut off the ring and catch his opponent. But after five rounds, it was Nuon Mony who left discouraged.

“I though I won,” Nuon Mony said afterward.

Speaking in the changing area after the bout, Nuon Mony appeared the fresher fighter. “I’m not hurt,” he said, raising his arms to reveal a relatively unbattered body, as Vung Noy limped past to a nearby bench muttering “Oh, my leg hurts.”

The two fought back and forth for five rounds, and the fight could have easily gone either way. In the third round, Vung Noy landed a huge knee to the head, followed by a clean elbow, and he clearly appeared the stronger fighter.

But in trying to unload the power shots, Vung Noy often missed badly, ending up off-balance or on the canvas. As Vung Noy charged forward, Nuon Mony scored with counters and slipped away.

“I tried to catch him with elbows, I tried to land knees, but I couldn’t,” Vung Noi remarked afterward.

Nuon Mony remains winless in five tournament fights. Vung Noi faces Long Sophy on October 11.

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