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Kickboxers prove a big hit at Sea Festival

Kickboxers prove a big hit at Sea Festival

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Boxers compete during an exhibition as part of the 2011 Sea Festival held in Sihanoukville on Saturday.

Six pairs of fighters faced off to the delight of hundreds of spectators at the inaugural Sea Festival at Sihanoukville’s Occheuteal beach on Saturday.

After an action packed day of swimming, running, volleyball and jetskiing, the crowds gathered around the temporary ring constructed at the Occheuteal Square to watch traditional Cambodian kickboxing, or Pradal Serey, fighters exchanging a flurry of elbows, kicks and punches.

The tournament consisted of six matches, each featuring four two-minute rounds. The boxers battled to the rhythm of traditional drums and trei flutes.

Those who gave spirited performances received cash rewards from enthusiastic members of the crowd.

Serey Rathna outscored Phay Kimhouet in the first bout which was well received. Matt Chhveng and Hon Chhunheng then fought out a draw.

The third match was decided by an overwhelming points margin in favour of Phan Bunmao after two clean kicks on Chaz Chanrath. In the fourth fight, after enduring a storm of knees to the kidneys and blows to the abdomen, Hul Dara succumbed to defeat against Leap Samnang.

The fifth bout saw Put Huch take a decision victory against Siv Dana while the final match involving a drawn-out exchange of blows to the face resulted in a draw between Sor Sey and Pich Arun.

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