WMC African Contender Champion Bakhulule Baai dealt local powerhouse Thun Sophea a rare decision loss on Friday in the main event of TV5's annual Water Festival fight card held at Old Stadium.
To the delight of gamblers playing the underdog, the South African middleweight unloaded with a sustained flurry of fists in the second round, snapping Thun Sophea's head with jabs, lefts, rights, crosses and uppercuts.
Thun Sophea slowed Baai in the third with kicks to the body, but down the stretch the renowned counter-fighter never did enough to retake the lead. Through the final six minutes, Baai continued to press the action while the Prey Veng native waited to counter and, in the end, judges rewarded the humble Cape Town fighter for his aggression.
In the co-feature, Sen Bunthen smashed Iranian fighter Hesam Fadaei with kicks in the opening seconds of round two, sending the 200-fight veteran to his knees grimacing in pain. Fadaei declined to answer the count.
In lightweight action, Koh Kong sensation Phon Phanna battled to a five-round decision victory over Kenya's Leo Nganga.
The Smach Meanchey native cut Nganga with an elbow and scored a knockdown with knees to the body in the third round in what looked to be a short fight.
But the Kenyan champion not only held on, he came back strong in the final two rounds, scoring with hard elbows from both sides in the fourth and cutting Phon Phanna across the left eyebrow with a knee to the head in the fifth.
In the first international bout on Friday’s card, WMC Intercontinental Champion Juan Montenegro stopped Van Chanvey in the third round with a single right elbow to the jaw.
The blow sent Van Chanvey's mouthpiece sailing into the air and the fighter collapsing to the canvas, where he remained motionless until well, well past the count of 10.