Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - IKF British Welterweight champion ready for Bheut Kam




IKF British Welterweight champion ready for Bheut Kam

IKF British Welterweight champion ready for Bheut Kam

Photo by: Robert Starkweather
Bheut Kam will fight at the heaviest weight of his career this Sunday.

BHEUT Kam, the Battambang kickboxing prodigy, will face Scotsman Stephen Meikle in the co-feature of TV3’s inaugural fight card Sunday at the indoor arena at Olympic Stadium.

With his effortless fighting style and ferocious power, Bheut Kam is among the most dominant fighters of his generation. As a teenager, he terrorized the lower ranks, and for years he dominated the 60kg division. Now 22 years old, Bheut Kam enters the ring Sunday at 69kg, the heaviest of his career.

“I have watched a few of his fights on YouTube,” said Meikle, responding to questions by email. “He likes to punch a lot and clinch. I watched him fight Abbas Ahmadi, and he looked very strong.”

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and raised in Glasgow, Meikle, 26, stumbled into kickboxing as a university student when he enrolled for a Muay Thai class with the idea to get in shape. His fiercely competitive nature quickly took over, and he began training to fight after a single lesson.

After a year on the Scottish circuit, a little training in Bangkok seemed like the next logical step.

“I came to Thailand for a few weeks of training one summer, and started fighting,” Meikle said. “I never looked back.”

That was in 2005. Since then, Meikle has notched up more than two dozen victories and captured the attention of the Muay Thai establishment.
He received full sponsorship from Fairtex Thailand in 2008, and in August of that year beat Phil Pullen at Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok to win the British IKF welterweight title, becoming the first Scot to win in the world-famous arena. Two months later, he beat highly ranked fellow countryman Craig Jose on home turf.

A keen student of kickboxing, Meikle has encountered Kun Khmer in the past. “Vorn Viva fought Craig Jose last year a few months before I beat Craig,” he said. “So I watched their fight to pick up tips on how to fight Craig.”

More and more, he says, the Cambodian sport is finding recognition among the gyms in Thailand. “Foreigners have been fighting in Thailand against Thais for years,” he stated. “We are interested to see how Cambodian kickboxing compares. It seems very aggressive and centered more around the clinch, which suits my style of fighting.”

A natural light middleweight, Meikle will likely hold a size and weight advantage over Bheut Kam when the two meet Sunday. “I will have a good bit of height advantage,” Meikle said. “I will be looking to out-clinch and knee him.”

Bheut Kam typically walks around 67kg, and the advantages of last-minute bulking up remain minimal. The experience factor, however, leans heavily in favor of Bheut Kam, who will enter the ring Sunday with a record of 171-5-1. Meikle’s official record stands at 24-5. But in five years of fighting, his unofficial tally likely exceeds that.

In number of years fighting, however, the pair are closely matched with Bheut Kam beginning in 2003, Meikle in August 2004.

“I should be able to use my height and range for this fight,” Meikle said. “I plan to see what he likes to throw and work off his mistakes, then tire him out and, hopefully, take the win.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • Bill covering dress code draws ire

    Ministry of Interior secretary of state Ouk Kim Lek responded on Tuesday to criticism concerning a draft law that would ban women from wearing overly revealing clothing, saying that input from all parties will be considered as the law moves through the promulgation process. Several

  • Passing the test: Is Cambodia’s education system failing its people?

    The Kingdom’s education system needs to grow its people but some flaws might stifle​ this growth Coming from the Khmer Rouge occupation, with the loss of many scholars and academicians and a collapsed government, the education system had to be reconstructed from scratch – one

  • What’s the deal with Cambodia and China’s FTA?

    Cambodia’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China kicks off a series of FTAs in future but for now, critics wonder what else the parties could bring to the table apart from what it already has to date By the end of this year, Cambodia