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Boxing Federation goes pro with judge, referee training held

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A training session for boxing professional referees conducted in Phnom Penh on November 15. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Boxing Federation goes pro with judge, referee training held

The Cambodia Boxing Federation (CBF) ran its first training session for professional boxing referees and judges, as it continues searching for capable sportswomen abroad to represent the Kingdom in the upcoming 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

The training sessions run from November 16-17 with 10 attendees by instructor Shozo Katayama from the Japanese Boxing Commission.

CBF president Buy Sophoan said the training session is necessary for the Cambodian referees and judges to become members of the World Boxing Council (WBC), which is separate from the Cambodia Boxing Amateur Federation that is aligned with the International Boxing Association (IBA).

“Our officials must be included in the professional global boxing system so that we can send our sportsmen and sportswomen to enter professional global boxing tournaments.

“The training was run to develop the professionalism of our officials. Once they are accredited by the WBC, we may be able to stage internationally recognised events in the Kingdom,” he said.

Apart from the theory, the 10 trainees will gain practical experience at the Ultimate Pro Boxing 2022 event, held by the CBF at the National Stadium on November 17. The tournament involves five fights, with six Cambodian fighters slated to compete.

Veteran coach Bou Vilong said professional and amateur boxing are very different, and the training and competition are completely different. He explained that an amateur boxing match consists of three three-miinute rounds, while a professional bout may be 4, 6, 8 or 12 rounds. The technical details of the fights also differ.

“This is the first time that we have received this training. It is new to Cambodia, because previously we only held events under amateur rules. Our officials are now capable of judging and refereeing professional bouts,” he said.

When it comes to the SEA Games hosted by Cambodia in 2023, Sophoan, who is also CBF secretary-general, said that thanks to two months of training with foreign coaches, the Cambodian fighters’ technique had changed.

“They still lack experience in professional rules fights, so they are yet to meet our expectations. In order to accelerate their progress, we have organised several overseas training camps,” he added.

Nine boxers will be heading to Kazakhstan from December 10-23, and in January next year, other boxers will depart for Hong Kong and then Thailand.

The CBF team will undergo further training in Uzbekistan – and then Kazakhstan – in March and April, in preparation for May’s SEA Games.

Sophoan noted that the CBF is continuing to scout Cambodian fighters abroad who might be eligible to represent the Kingdom.

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