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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Lin lands hard, Sophat cruises by on points

Lin lands hard, Sophat cruises by on points

Vung Noy catches Arturo Lin with a straight right hand. Lin was flattened by a similar punch to end the fight in the fifth round.

Photos by: Robert Starkweather

Arturo Lin got off the canvas after a first-round knockdown and was charging to an upset victory Saturday at the TV3 boxing arena when Vung Noy flattened him with another looping right hand.

The punch capped a furious exchange to open the fifth round and caught the tall, lanky lightweight from Spain square on the chin. Lin hit the canvas face first.

“I’ve never been knocked out like that,” said Lin, who was facing his fourth Khmer fighter this year. “I didn’t know what happened.”

Referee Meas Sokry counted just three before waving the fight over. Vung Noy, a 24-year-old native of Pailin, grabbed a Cambodian flag and ran victory circles in the ring.

In his Cambodian debut in February, Lin silenced the crowds at the TV3 boxing arena when he outpointed former national champion Van Chanvait, who attended Saturday’s bout.

Van Chanvait walked over and said hello to the 23-year-old Madrid native as he warmed up outside the stadium, then encouraged him to victory. “I’m betting on you,” he said.

In May, Lin faced undefeated Koh Kong sensation Phon Phanna, who stopped him in the third with an elbow.

“Since I fought here [last], I’ve had a very bad row,” Lin said.

In eight or so fights over the last four months, the Spaniard notes he has lost as many as he has won, including a bout last month in Bangkok against another well-known local star.

“That was strange,” Lin said of facing Outh Phouthang in a 65-kilogram Wednesday night bout at Rajadamnern Stadium. “He was much bigger than me, and much stronger.” An elbow stopped him in the third.

On Saturday, Lin showed little trouble shaking off the first-round knockdown. He came back strong in each of the following three rounds, scoring with elbows and kicks, and chasing Vung Noy around the ring.

By most estimations, Lin was on his way toward scoring the upset when the bell rang to open the final round. He backed Vung Noy into the ropes and the two fighters planted their feet and traded head-snapping bombs.

“He got me with the better punch,” Lin said.

In the co-feature Saturday, light-welterweight title-holder Phal Sophat cruised through five rounds with 20-year-old Christoffer Axelsson of Sweden to earn a decisive points decision.

Phal Sophat landed the harder shots from the outset and frustrated the Swede with smart defence. Axelsson picked up the pace in the later rounds, but he could find no answers for his much more experienced opponent.

Axelsson trains out of the Rompo Muay Thai gym in Bangkok and Team 019 gym in Orebro, Sweden.



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