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Kao Roomchang steps it up

Rising young kickboxing star Kao Roomchang will face his toughest test yet against legendary fighter Nuon Soriya Sunday at TV5 boxing arena in Takhmao

21-year-old Kao Roomchang of Battambang scored the biggest win of his career May 24 by outpointing 60-kg titlist Lao Sinath at TV5 boxing arena. ROBERT STARKWEATHER

KAO Roomchang will take another big step up Sunday when he faces Nuon Soriya, one of boxing's most durable veterans, in the main event Sunday at TV5 boxing arena in Takhmao.

The 21-year-old rising star from Battambang enters the ring coming off the biggest win of his career, a decision victory over Lao Sinath, the 60-kilogram champion.

Nuon Soriya will be the most experienced fighter he has ever faced.

Kao Roomchang began fighting in 2007, and has notched up a record of 25-5-2 in his relatively brief two-year career.

Nuon Soriya has fought for nearly two decades, answering questions about his record in number of years rather than number of fights. "Eighteen," he said.

Nuon Soriya, who gives his age at 29, expects few problems from the younger Battambang fighter Sunday. The experience quotient comes down heavily in his favor, with the pair similar in height, reach and size.

"He will be easy for me," Nuon Soriya said.

Maybe. Kao Roomchang's unrelenting style gives many of his opponents problems, as they struggle to keep up with his furious pace. A natural southpaw, he fights comfortably and carries power from both sides.

Photo by: Robert Starkweather

Nuon Soriya unwinds after training Monday at the Ministry of Interior boxing club.

Kao Roomchang claims victories over many top-notch opponents, but his pedigree as a champion remains unproven. Nuon Soriya, who is not only strong but well-versed in the science of the sport, will likely prove one of his hardest tests.

Nuon Soriya will drop down to 63 kilograms, Kao Roomchang's typical fighting weight, for the match Sunday.

A native of Kampong Cham, Nuon Soriya fights for the Ministry of Interior Boxing Club. He also has his own club, Samrek Reachsey Bangkrab Kroeung-Nhean, which literally translates to Lion's Roar Bans Drugs, under the auspices of the Ministry of Interior's anti-drug division.

Kao Roomchang, a soldier with Brigade 43, fights for Club Anlong Veng.

Fights start at 3:30pm Sunday at the TV5 boxing arena in Takhmao

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