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Bheut Kam to face big names

Bheut Kam to face big names

A rarity in the local fight scene of the past year, Bheut Kam will fight at 67 kilograms against Pao Puot at TV5 Sunday, and could face more top kickboxers at that weight.

Photo by: Rebert Starkweather

Bheut Kam poses for a photo after training at Club Salavorn, Monday. The 22-year-old native of Battambang will be slugging for his 171st career win at TV5 Sunday.

BHEUT Kam, one of the greatest fighters Cambodia has ever produced, will step up to the 67-kilogram weight class when he returns to the ring Sunday to face Pao Puot at TV5.

Known for his effortless fighting style, lightning speed and explosive power, Bheut Kam has dominated the lower weight divisions since becoming a fighter in 2004 at the age of 17.  In his debut year, he won the 48-kilogram division at the annual national tournament. In the ensuing years he has won four more titles, including three at 60 kilograms.

He enters the ring Sunday at the age of 22, with a professional record of 170-4-1.

Since winning his last title at 60-kilograms in 2007, Bheut Kam has largely been absent from the kickboxing ring. His most recent fight in Cambodia came in January, when he outclassed a scrappy but largely overmatched Kao Roomchang in a fight announced at 63.5 kilograms.

In February, under the auspices of French trainer Phillipe Sebire, Bheut Kam went to train and fight in France. Competing at the heaviest of his

career, 66 kilograms, he went 3-0 with two knockouts.

Back at home, Bheut Kam's move into the 67-kilogram weight class opens many tantalising match possibilities, most obviously Sen Bunthen, but also Chey Kosal, Outh Phouthong and Nuon Soriya.

Photo by: Rebert Starkweather

23-year-old Pao Puot will attempt to end a four-fight losing streak.

His first test comes Sunday against fellow Battambang native Pao Puot. Similarly to Bheut Kam, Pao Pout is also a recent returnee to the ring. After a year away from the sport, Pao Puot, 23, returned to boxing in February.

At the height of his career in 2007, Pao Puot was ranked No 3 in the 65-kilogram weight class behind Thun Sophea and Meas Chanta, ranked No 1 and 2 respectively.

Known for strong kicks and dangerous elbows - he KO'd Ven Sovann with a spinning elbow to win the No 3 ranking - Pao Puot has struggled to find success since his comeback. He remains winless from four fights, his last two losses coming at the hands of Club Ei Phouthong mainstay Sol Sey.

Fights at TV5 boxing arena in Takhmao start at 3:30pm Sunday. 

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