Kao Roomchang completed a perfect seven wins from seven round-robin bouts in the CTN lightweight tournament with a TKO victory Sunday over Long Sophy
KAO Roomchang dropped Long Sophy twice on his way to scoring a surprise third-round TKO victory Sunday in the lightweight round-robin finale at the CTN boxing arena.
With about a minute gone in the third, Kao Roomchang hurt Long Sophy badly with an overhand right to score the first knockdown. Seconds later, with Long Sophy in trouble against the ropes, Kao Roomchang landed a clean left-right to score the second.
Long Sophy clung to the ropes and struggled to gain focus. At the count of eight he could not let go, and when referee Thy Narith counted 10, Long Sophy’s legs gave way beneath him.
The stoppage came as a relief.
“I was losing to him in the clinch,” said Kao Roomchang, who struggled to break free of Long Sophy’s grasp throughout the second round.
Long Sophy held height advantage
Heading into the bout, Kao Roomchang knew well the danger that Long Sophy posed. “He is very tall,” he said, throwing high punches at an imaginary opponent and then shaking his head. “I don’t know who will win today.”
As victory became apparent, Kao Roomchang ran in circles and did backflips in the ring. Fans in the crowd called his name and filled his fists with money.
The match concluded the round-robin phase of the lightweight tournament, with the top four finishers advancing to semifinals, scheduled for November 8 at the CTN boxing arena. In order, the top four are Kao Roomchang (7-0, 3 KOs), Van Chanvey (6-1, 5 KOs), Long Sophy (5-2, 1 KOs) and Vung Noy (4-3, 2 KOs).
Kao Roomchang will face Vung Noy, and Long Sophy will face Van Chanvey. Naem Chenda (3-4, 1 KO), Song Saruth (1-6), Nuon Mony (1-6) and Bheut Bunthoeun (1-6, 1 KO) all failed to advance.
Many have predicted 21-year-old Kao Roomchang, a soldier with Brigade 43 in Anlong Veng, will win the tournament and go on to claim the 60-kilogram title currently held by Lao Sinath from the Commando 911 boxing club.
Sunday’s TKO over Long Sophy, the 2009 national champion and among the most durable fighters in the division, only seems to underscore the inevitability of Kao Roomchang’s rise to the lightweight championship.
Naem Chenda makes a no-show
Vung Noy was scheduled to face Naem Chenda in the first lightweight tournament bout Sunday, but Naem Chenda failed to show, and Vung Noy was awarded a rare easy victory. It was unclear why Naem Chenda did not appear.