Rising boxing stars Thun Iengleng and Yorn Pisei do not sound confident ahead of their matches with Phuon Lang Kosin and Kham Konkhla in the second semi-final round of the 57kg TVK Fighter Championship. The bouts will go ahead at 4pm on May 5 at the General Department of the National Television of Cambodia (TVK) Arena.

Iengleng and Lang Kosin never fought each other in the group qualifying round, but the boxer knows all too well of Lang Kosin’s strength and abilities – as his opponent is stronger than Kham Konkhla, to whom he lost on points in the group stage.

“I will try to train hard as hard as I can to prepare for my next two fights – against Lang Kosin and Konkhla to reach the final. I know that I am the underdog and not the favourite in the fight but okay, I will try my best to surpass him,” said Iengleng.

Although Iengleng took three points from Yorn Pisei in a hard-fought victory in the April 21 first round of the semi-finals, he does not expect much from his meeting with Lang Kosin. He is very aware of how capable his opponent is. Lang Kosin is coming fresh from a one point victory over Konkhla in the first round.

“I have only 50 per cent hope. I cannot expect more, because although we are competing at the same level – and you can never predict any boxing match – Lang Kosin is a good boxer, and better than Kham Konkhla,” he added.

The match has become crucial, owing to the scoring system of the championship. The winner of the bout will take three points, which will almost guarantee a place in the final.

Unfortunately for Konkhla and Pisei, it may turn out to be a match between the loser and the other loser, owing to the vagaries of the points system. Pisei, who just lost to Iengleng, expected a tough match after his opponent beat Iengleng on points.

“This will be a very difficult fight for me. Konkhla and Kosin, whom I will face back to back, are both strong fighters with excellent technique, so I cannot pretend to have the highest hopes for my chances. One thing I have been focused on with my training is my knees and my fitness.

“After my loss to Iengleng, I realised that these were my weak areas. Perhaps my training will have paid off? Let’s wait and see,” said Pisei.