Twenty-three-year-old derails Kao Roomchang’s seemingly unstoppable march into lightweight title contention with a stunning upset victory at CTN arena
WORKING behind crafty defense and a thunderous right roundhouse, Van Chanvey scored a narrow majority decision over Kao Roomchang Sunday to take first place in the 60-kilogram tournament, and land a title shot against current champion Lao Sinath.
Four judges at the CTN boxing arena scored the fight 98-97 in favor of Van Chanvey. The fifth scored it 98-97 for Kao Roomchang.
Considered two of the most dangerous fighters in the division, Van Chanvey and Kao Roomchang collided for the first time in August in one of the most memorable fights of the year. Kao Roomchang took the decision in that bout, and odds makers had him a 10-7 favorite heading into Sunday’s highly anticipated tournament final.
Kao Roomchang, the 21-year-old rising star from Battambang, pushed the action in all five rounds. He thrilled an overflowing house with flashy spinning back kicks and head-snapping straight right hands. But somehow, he could not translate busier into better.
“I don’t know how I lost,” Kao Roomchang said. “I used my elbows effectively, I punched well, and I countered his kicks with knees. I thought he won only round four.”
The fight was every bit as close as the scorecards would indicate, and the pair predictably fought blow for blow in a bloody, fast-paced contest.
Kao Roomchang opened a thin cut just below the Van Chanvey's left eyebrow in the second.
“He got me with a punch,” Van Chanvey said. “It wasn’t an elbow.”
Van Chanvey, 23, drew even in the third, reopening an old wound above Kao Roomchang’s left eye with an elbow.
It was exactly the same spot where he cut Kao Roomchang in their first clash.
That bout produced one of the most savage rounds of boxing in recent memory, as the pair stood on each other’s toes and traded elbows nearly every second of the third round.
On Sunday, however, Van Chanvey appeared reluctant to engage in yet another debilitating battle of attrition. Instead, he fought smartly, working patiently behind a left jab and scoring with knees and hard right roundhouse kicks.
Defensively, he used his feet to stay elusive, and made Kao Roomchang chase him around the ring.
Kao Roomchang certainly had his moments. He scored hard shots in every round. But whatever the crowd saw, the judges did not.
Van Chanvey will face Lao Sinath on January 3 for the 60kg title. That bout will also take place at the CTN boxing arena.
Long Sophy earns international bout
On the undercard, Long Sophy pummeled Vung Noy with punches to score a convincing decision victory and take third place in the tournament.
Fighting at a torrid pace, Long Sophy pounded Vung Noy with relentless left jabs and straight right hands in all five rounds.
Vung Noy’s face was marked and red by the end of the second round.
At the close of the fourth, Long Sophy caught a tired Vung Noy against the ropes and unloaded a devastating flurry of punches to the head and body. Only the bell saved him.