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Kun Khmer faces off against muay Thai

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Kun Khmer master Keo Rumchong. Miguel Acosta Meyer

Kun Khmer faces off against muay Thai

The legendary kun Khmer master Keo Rumchong will square up against Thai fighter Kwanchai Petchniroth in Phnom Penh this Saturday in a face-off between kun Khmer and muay Thai.

Kun Khmer, also known as pradal serey, is a Cambodian fighting style dating back to the ninth century. Pradal serey translates to “free fighting” and is a form of martial art that

uses the whole body as a weapon. It consists of four types of strikes – punches, kicks, elbows, and knee strikes.

Muay Thai, which translates to “Thai boxing”, can be traced back to the 18th century, where it was used as a practical fighting technique and used in warfare when battling other countries.

Muay Thai and kun Khmer use very similar techniques – striking, along with various clenching techniques to tire the opponent out.

On Saturday, these two fighting styles will be put to the test, with viewers tuning into the live event from all around Cambodia and Thailand.

There are no major differences between the two combat sports – the rules are the same, with a slight difference in how they score the match. Also, Thai fighters are more technical while their Cambodian counterparts are known for their brutal elbows and knees.

Representing the Kingdom this weekend is Keo Rumchong, one of Cambodia’s most beloved fighters.

He is well known across the country for his toughness, heart and vicious elbows.

When he is fighting, everyone pays attention, even if they aren’t normally boxing fans. He is the people’s champion.

Over the last decade, Rumchong has had an amazing fighting record, standing at 165 wins, 12 losses and four draws, with 65 knockouts.

He is a part of The Riel team out of Battambang, with manager and friend Miguel Acosta Meyer, and his boxing coach Felix Merlin.

The Riel Team and Rumchong have fought in many international fights over the years, travelling to Thailand, France and Vietnam.

Although he is getting older and more occupied with his wife and two children, he still finds the time to train, and there is no doubt he will produce an outstanding performance against his Thai opponent.

Representing Thailand is Kwanchai Petchniroth, who has a record of 72 wins, 16 losses and one draw, with 20 of those wins coming from knockouts.

Kwanchai will be fighting Romchung this weekend in the 72kg weight class.

These two extraordinary fighters will be putting their different fighting styles on display in the ring and the two nations’ strong rivalry will be put to the test.

Will the kun Khmer fighting style, practised by Cambodia’s beloved Romchung, emerge victorious? Or will muy Thai specialist Kwanchai prevail?

Tune in to Bayon TV this Saturday to find out.

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