Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kao Roomchang, Van Chanvey in 60kg final

Kao Roomchang, Van Chanvey in 60kg final

Kao Roomchang, Van Chanvey in 60kg final

091110_24b
Kao Roomchang (red) battles a determined Vung Noy on Sunday.

KAO Roomchang and Van Chanvey, two of the most explosive fighters in the 60-kilogram division, will face each other in the lightweight tournament final November 22 at the CTN boxing arena.

Kao Roomchang outpointed Vung Noy in a bloody five-round brawl Sunday in the tournament semifinals to advance; Van Chanvey outpointed Long Sophy.

The eight-man round-robin tournament concluded October 25. The top four finishers, as determined by points and knockouts, fought in Sunday’s semifinal bouts. Kao Roomchang (7-0, 3 KOs) placed first, with Van Chanvey (6-1, 5 KOs), Long Sophy (5-2, 1 KO) and Vung Noy (4-3, 2 KOs) behind him. Naem Chenda, Song Saruth, Nuon Mony and Bheut Bunthoeun failed to advance.

Long Sophy entered the tournament as the No 1-ranked contender. But over the course of the contest, Kao Roomchang has emerged as the division’s undisputed shooting star.

Battambang native Kao Roomchang exploded onto local boxing at the national tournament in 2007, taking first place in the 60-kilogram division.

In the years since, he has improved with every outing, and his march into the lightweight tournament final has been cast against a backdrop of inevitability. But Vung Noy was offering no free passes Sunday. In the most compelling match of the tournament so far, he flirted with derailing Kao Roomchang’s seemingly unstoppable rise.

A tall, lanky 20-year-old from Pailin, Vung Noy pounded Kao Roomchang with knees and elbows for five rounds, cutting him twice, puffing up his left eye and causing severe swelling on his forehead.

“He’s so tall,” Kao Roomchang said afterward. “I would cover up, but he could still get me with elbows to the top of the head.”

The two fighters traded dozens of elbows in a series of brutal, toe-to-toe exchanges in the middle rounds. By the fourth, a huge contusion had bubbled up on the right side of Kao Roomchang’s forehead, and blood poured from a cut on his head.

Referee Meas Sokry stopped to inspect the cut, and the packed house rumbled with expectation.

With victory seemingly in reach, Vung Noy came barrelling forward, blasting with punches and elbows. In the exchange, Kao Roomchang landed an elbow that bent Vung Noy in half. “He was wobbly, but they didn’t count him,” Kao Roomchang said. Vung Noy shook off the blow. The crowd roared for the underdog. And in the moment, an upset seemed possible. But the chance for victory evaporated in the fifth round.

Kao Roomchang landed a kick to the face early, followed by two brutal elbows and two head-snapping right hands. After four punishing rounds, including a brutal knockdown in the second round that was ruled late, Vung Noy had little left.

MOST VIEWED

  • Temi tourism project approved by the CDC

    The $500.4 million Tourism, Ecological, Marine and International (Temi) tourism project has been approved by the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), according to a notice on its Facebook page on Monday. The project is part of Chinese-owned Union City Development Group Co Ltd’s (

  • Rainsy will return at ‘favourable time’

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy on Saturday suggested he would not return to Cambodia as he had previously promised, saying that like liberators King Father Norodom Sihanouk and Charles de Gaulle, he would only do so at a “favourable time”. “I will go back to Cambodia

  • US Embassy urged to stop ‘disrespecting sovereignty’

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation called on the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Saturday to respect the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations after it called former opposition leader Kem Sokha “an innocent man” – a move deemed to be “disrespecting Cambodia’s

  • NagaWorld casino sees net profit of more than $390M last year

    Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld casino posted a 53 per cent net profit increase last year at $390.6 million, a sum which is almost equal to the combined net profit of all Cambodian commercial banks in 2017. NagaWorld’s parent company, NagaCorp Ltd, is listed on the Hong Kong