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Benloeun, Phanneth apologise for failure to find KOs

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Cambodian Kun Khmer boxer Long Bunloeun (right) tries to defend against a kick from Thai boxer Peemai Por Kobkere during their Mas Fight match at Town Arena on Sunday. SUPPLIED

Benloeun, Phanneth apologise for failure to find KOs

Cambodian Kun Khmer fighter Long Benloeun expressed his regret at not being able to seize the opportunity to beat his Thai opponent to claim the $600 prize purse, while newcomer Phan Phannath clapped his hands in apology to his parents after also failing to secure a knock-out.

In a one-round, nine-minute Mas Fight match at Town Arena on Sunday, Long Benloeun fought Thai boxer Peemai Por Kobkere in the toughest of bouts, with knee and elbow strikes being swapped between the fighters. However, despite dominating the last two minutes, Benloeun was unable to get the KO and claim the bonus.

Benloeun could not get the job done because his strong knee strikes were only able to weaken his Thai opponent, but not render him unconscious. Finally, the two were declared equal according to the Mas Fight rules – if there is no knock out, the fight is considered equal and neither fighter receives a bonus.

After failing to score the win – and the $600 prize – Benloeun said: “I regret that I could not earn the bonus because it would have been a good pay day for me. I tried very hard to knock him out with plenty of elbows and my strongest knee strikes, but he was very strong. He persevered. Not only was he conscious, he was still coming forward to try and exchange blows.”

Thai boxer Peemai Por Kobkere also admired Benloeun’s toughness, saying: “Long Benloeun fights fast and has heavy weapons. Overall, Cambodia’s boxers are very strong and we never beat them easily. I look forward to fighting him again – and to make it exciting. I am not afraid of a rematch, even if we fight under different rules.”

New boxer Phan Phannath also showed off his toughness in an epic fight with Thai Extra Morakot in the 57kg Mas Fight category. Neither of the pair was able to find a way to knock their opponent out, so the $400 prize went unclaimed and the match was declared a draw.

Phannath was unhappy with the result, clapping his hands to apologise to his parents, who were watching the fight at home, with high expectations.

“I apologize to my parents for not doing well. I am unhappy with my game plan this evening because I really wanted the knockout,” said Phanneth.

The young boxer added: “The Thai boxer was not that strong but I could not manage to finish him. I cannot find the right words to say – but I felt like I didn’t manage to unleash all of my skills. I have learned some things from this, my first international fight, and if I am given another chance I will definitely do better.”

In the two friendly international Kun Khmer matches held at the same arena, Som Vichay knocked out Thai boxer Kluaycherm Lookmahathat in the first round, while Elite Makara waited until the third, before scoring a KO over his Thai opponent, Suksamran Nor Puthasong.

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