Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - TKO'd by the referee's decision



TKO'd by the referee's decision

TKO'd by the referee's decision

"YOU have completely and exactly won," Cambodian boxer Va Dararith's Korean coach told him before the last round, "don't attack so hard or you'll fall down or have an accident."

Dararith, 23 (pictured right), says he felt strong, traded a couple of punches with his Malaysian opponent - then listened with amazement as the final verdict went in a one-point decision against him.

Dararith won the bronze medal that was guaranteed him before the competition, but the crowd bayed it's disapproval at the result.

The Malaysian boxer's coach - who had already congratulated Dararith's coach as being the victor before the final round - was bewildered, Cambodian mission chief So Samuth said.

The Cambodian team protested the decision, which cost them $100, but the result was not changed.

The Indonesian boxing coach told Samuth that at the next SEA Games in Indonesia "we will get back at the Thais" for making bad judgments. Samuth said that many countries, especially in the boxing competition, were angered at what they considered were bad calls.

One Indonesian boxer punched a referee after a fight, Samuth said. Dararith was told before he fought "not to do anything bad" should he lose, but the boxer was annoyed nonetheless.

Dararith began training for the SEA games in 1990, spending 18 month in North Korea. In 40 competition fights with Vietnamese, Laotian and Thai opponents he won 30 times, lost five and drew five.

His parents earlier did not want him to become a boxer and he had to train in secret. Growing up in a very poor family, he had little to eat and could not travel anywhere to train.

He said his parents changed their mind after he became successful. "Let it be what it will be," his parents told each other. Dararith has beaten all his opponents in Cambodia.

During competition in Chiang Mai he said he was not scared or nervous but kept thinking "I have to knock out my competitor". He did not see any Cambodian judge at ringside so believed that he would find it difficult to win on points.

He did not fight for First Prime Minister Prince Ranariddh's money, "but what I want is to see the Cambodian flag being flown at the event My effort was for my nation's reputation," he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants