Prime Minister-designate Hun Manet extended thanks to Myanmar-based Canadian boxer Dave Leduc, who passed on congratulations for his appointment. In his congratulatory message, Leduc also said he had fallen in love with Cambodia and its unique ancient martial art of Kun Khmer.

On August 15, Manet took to social media to thank Leduc, saying he will personally welcome the boxer when he arrives in the Kingdom later this year to compete in a Kun Khmer tournament.

“I congratulate Hun Manet on becoming the new prime minister of Cambodia. Later this year, I will come to visit this beautiful country and compete in Kun Khmer. My arrival will be one of the biggest events in Cambodian and Southeast Asian history,” said Leduc.

The Canadian explained that he has millions of followers in Myanmar, and with the Southeast Asian nation having a population of 54 million – as compared to the Cambodia’s 16 million – he believed that if the two peoples support his match it will prove to be a large-scale celebration of the long-established friendship between the two nations.

“Media outlets across the world will cover this event because it will be one of my last fights prior to my retirement. Do you [Manet] like martial arts? If you do, it would be a great honour for me and my fellow competitors if you would grace us with your presence in Phnom Penh,” he added.

“Although I am a foreigner, I love and respect Cambodia. That’s why I am willing to compete in Kun Khmer – because I know its history! I want to shake hands with you, and hope you will consider my invitation. Please accept the assurances of my highest consideration,” he said.

Manet welcomed the request in his social media post. “I thank you for supporting Cambodia and Kun Khmer. I wish you success, and I will meet with you when you visit the Kingdom.”

Leduc will face Cambodian fighter Prum Samnang. The pair was scheduled to meet at a Slovakian event in May, but the matches were cancelled.

Cambodian Boxing Federation (CBF) president Tem Moeun said on August 15 that it would re-schedule the match at the Town Arena in Phnom Penh.

“This match was made possible through cooperation between the CBF and the Town Arena, and will take place in November. If [Manet] really attends the event, then it will become one of the most special matches we have ever hosted. The federation and our collaborators are prepared to extend a welcome to all of our leaders and distinguished quests,” he said.

“During international events, foreign fighters compete within the Kun Khmer framework. We are very proud to promote and conserve the art of Kun Khmer, a precious cultural treasure that was passed down by our ancestors,” he added.

He said Samnang will train hard in preparation for the important match.