Photo by: Robert Starkweather
Long dominant in the lighter divisions, Bheut Kam (right) has grown in recent years, and he now threatens to reorder the ranks of the sport’s heavier weight classes.
With all the effortless grace for which he is both famous and feared, Bheut Kam soundly outclassed Koh Kong fighting legend Outh Phouthang Sunday at the TV5 boxing arena in Takhmao.
Working behind a sneaky left hand, 23-year-old Battambang southpaw Bheut Kam began scoring with clean, hard low kicks early in the second round and was landing elbows at will by the end of the third.
Judges do not make their scorecards public, but their sums could not have tallied anything less than a shutout.
“He killed me,” said Outh Phouthang, who blamed fighting at 69 kilograms for his lackluster performance. “I am too slow at this weight,” he said. “I would have preferred to fight him at 67.”
The difference in speed and strength became evident early.
In the second round, Bheut Kam landed several head-snapping straight left hands and clean jab-low kick combinations, once kicking Outh Phouthang off his feet.
By the third, Bheut Kam was in complete control. He opened the round punching hard to the body, picking his shots and showboating with flying elbows.
The crowd, overwhelmingly behind the Battambang boy in the blue corner, roared with applause and waved their hands in the air.
By the end of round three, with a Bheut Kam victory all but assured, the only question that remained concerned the durability of 30-year-old Outh Phouthang. And test it Bheut Kam did.
He pounded away at the body with hard punches and low kicks throughout the later rounds. He landed half a dozen or more elbows in the fourth, and he cut Outh Phouthang on the head with an elbow in the fifth.
With the fight coming to a close, Bheut Kam capped the bout with a final flurry of combinations, and for a fleeting moment, a bloodied and beaten Outh Phouthang looked in danger of going down.
But when the final bell rang, Outh Phouthang smiled humbly in defeat and put his arm around the winner.