Kim Srun Kosal, president of MasFight and representative of the International Professional Combat Council (IPCC) in Cambodia, said the title match between Cambodian strongman Thoeun Theara and Brazilian world champion Thiago Teixeira will raise the profile of Kun Khmer to the world.
The IPCC Kun Khmer World Championship will be staged at Town arena in Svay Rieng province on February 11.
The MasFight president, who is also a consultant for Town TV, said this is the second time that Town Arena has cooperated with the IPCC and sponsor Wurkz to organise "Wurkz Khmer Boxing", but it is the first time a world title has been on the line at the event.
Kosal said the IPCC Kun Khmer World Champion title was created following Theara’s recent rise to prominence. Thiago recently defeated Lao Chantrea to claim a world title.
“Both men have won a world title, so it should be an excellent matchup. The IPCC wants to use this fight to promote Kun Khmer to the world. Kun Khmer does not fall under the boxing institution of any country, because it is the martial art of our Khmer ancestors. There is a lot of excitement surrounding this fight,” he added.
Kim claimed that the IPCC has done a lot to promote Kun Khmer on the world stage. They have hosted IPPCC Kun Khmer fights in Europe and Japan, as well as in Vietnam. In addition, the term Kun Khmer is proudly displayed on the belts of all of its weight divisions.
“This title match may be the largest fight we have promoted in Cambodia. This is an excellent introduction for both fighters to this level of competition,” he said.
“Whether Theara wins or loses, we are proud that we have this opportunity to promote Kun Khmer abroad. The fight will be shown in Europe, and even Vietnamese stations have been in contact, wanting a broadcast link. While this is great, it is just the beginning. In the future we will make sure that even more of the world gets to know the term Kun Khmer,” he added.
Anticipation for the title match has been growing, in part by the verbal sparring between Theara and Thiago. Each of the fighters has referenced the favourite weapon in their arsenals, with Theara mentioning his famously powerful elbows and the Brazilian talking up the strength of his punches.
“I’m not afraid of Thoeun Theara, I want to compete with him. I believe that the IPCC belt is mine and I will be the first Kun Khmer champion,” boasted Thiago, who considers Theara one of the Kingdom’s finest Kun Khmer artists.
Theara, who recently claimed the Thai King title, was quick to respond. “If you want the title, get past my deadly elbows first!” he said.
Theara claimed that he was ready for the bout and confident of taking a win.
In addition to the world title bout, Serey Vanthong will take on Pich Sambath in the 60kg category, while Lao Chetra will face Thailand’s Kolabkhav Sorchor Peak Outhoy in the 63.5kg class. Three other qualifying matches will be held at the event.