Vorn Viva and Meas Chanta challenge German and English fighters in a
display of local kickboxing skill that organisers hope will take some
shine off rivals Thailand
Thomas Gam Nielsen
Meas Chanta (left) trains at Old Stadium in Phnom Penh in preparation
for his 68kg ISKA world title fight against Frankie Hudders of England
Cambodia's first kickboxing
world title bouts
When: August 28 (Tonight)
Fights start at 7pm, doors open at 6:30pm
Where: Olympic Stadium, Phnom Penh
Six fights, including two title fights
Vorn Viva (Cambodia)
23 fights, 15 wins, 7 losses, 1 draw, 10 KOs
Alban Ahmedi (Germany)
39 fights, 27 wins, 10 losses, 2 draws, 16 KOs
- ISKA 68kg title fight
Meas Chanta (Cambodia)
48 fights, 34 wins, 12 losses, 2 draws, 15 KOs
Frankie Hudders (England)
56 fights, 48 wins, 8 losses, 21 KOs
PHNOM Penh, are you ready to rumble?
Tonight heralds the first world championship kickboxing fight to be
held in Cambodia, with two titles up for grabs at the Olympic Stadium.
Khmer fighter Vorn Viva will take on Alban Ahmedi of Germany in the
75kg weight class, while Cambodia's other contender, Meas Chanta, will
battle Englishman Frankie Hudders in the 68kg division.
Staged by local broadcaster CTN, the event marks the first time
Cambodian fighters have had the chance to claim an International Sport
Kickboxing Association (ISKA) world title.
CTN producer Aaron Leverton said the matches would take the sport to a
new level in Cambodia. "It may come as a shock for some of the Khmer
audience to see how good some of the fighters [from overseas] are. This
one lifts the competition level up."
Lerverton said Vorn Viva and Meas Chanta had both viewed footage of
Ahmedi and Hudders on video-sharing website YouTube, so had some idea
of what to expect when they take to the ring.
The pair told the Post they were in good spirits ahead of tonight's showdown at Olympic Stadium.
Vorn Viva, 21, said he was confident of upsetting Alban Ahmedi, eight years his senior.
"I'm bold enough to hope I will beat my opponent because I've been
training hard for nearly a month," said the Kampong Cham native. "Each
day I train for five hours, and I have enough food, as well as the
encouragement of my trainer and relatives."
Meas Chanta, a 24-year-old from Kandal province, admitted his match against Hudders would be a step up.
"It will be the third time I've boxed with a foreigner," he said. "I won the other two times, which were friendly matches.
"I am 60 percent sure I can beat my partner. But this time is going to
be different because it is a world championship fight, not a friendly
Hudders, who has been kickboxing for almost 20 years, said his experience would show through against Meas Chanta.
"I've been around a long time and fought a lot of good fights. I'm relaxed and ready to go," the Englishman said.
Although he has never fought in Cambodia, Hudders said he had heard good things about crowds here.
"From what I've seen and what I've been told, if you put up a good fight, they cheer you whether you win, lose or draw."
Leverton, meanwhile, said staging the world title fights in Phnom Penh
would boost Cambodian confidence in the nation's fierce rivalry with
kickboxing powerhouse Thailand.
There will be six fights in total tonight, including two international friendlies.