Three-time American champion Kevin Ross scored a clear decision victory over local kickboxing great Outh Phouthang Saturday at TV3 boxing arena
ON paper, nearly every fight with Outh Phouthang looks like a mismatch.
Saturday was no exception. The 29-year-old Koh Kong native entered the ring with 261 career bouts behind him. His opponent, American kickboxer Kevin “The Soul Assassin” Ross, had less than 40.
The numbers hardly mattered. Ross started aggressively from the opening bell and never let up, scoring a decisive decision victory over Outh Phouthang at the TV3 boxing arena.
“I was slow,” the Cambodian boxing star said with a shake of his head. “I threw one; he threw five.”
Outh Phouthang opened a slight cut on the bridge of Ross’ nose in the second round, and for a minute or so in the third he appeared poised to take control of the fight. But Ross, the WBC international super-lightweight champion, came charging back in the closing seconds.
“He was strong,” Ross said afterward. “His elbows were really hard. But he wasn’t setting anything up. He was just throwing one at a time, so I wasn’t worried about him catching me with anything.”
Both fighters appeared to sag under the heat in the later rounds.
“I was having trouble breathing in the fourth and fifth because of the humidity” said Ross, who lives and trains in Las Vegas, which enjoys much drier conditions. “I just got here last week, so I haven’t really had time to acclimatise.”
Once a committed drinker, Ross put down the bottle about seven years ago and turned to fighting. He trains at Master Toddy’s Muay Thai Academy in Las Vegas.
In addition to kickboxing, Ross has fought both amateur and professional boxing and has one mixed martial arts fight. With Saturday’s win, he improved his career record to 33-7. His professional record stands a mere 13-4.
Ross’ professional career began to take off last year.
In July, he stopped fellow American Justin Greskiewic with a knee in the third round to win the WBC Muay Thai USA welterweight title. In August, he KO’d Chinese fighter Kang En to win the WBC Muay Thai international super lightweight title. And in October, he beat Coke Fairtex to claim the USMF Pro Muaythai kickboxing title.
Kao Roomchang outpoints Nakamura
In the co-feature, Kao Roomchang electrified a packed house with spinning back elbows and vicious face kicks on his way towards earning the decision over Japanese fighter Yukia Nakamura.
Nakamura was making his second Cambodian appearance, having outpointed Nuon Soriya in October last year. Kao Roomchang was making his international debut, and he appeared far more determined than usual.
The 21-year-old began landing elbows in the first round, and he landed hard front kicks to the face in all five.
Nakamura, 22, never backed down, and several times the two fighters stood toe-to-toe and traded power shots with the crowds chanting behind them in a hair-raising display of tenacious brutality.