Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - World title bouts raise bar for Cambodian kickboxing

World title bouts raise bar for Cambodian kickboxing

World title bouts raise bar for Cambodian kickboxing

24-Meas-Chanta---LIGHTEN-BODIES.jpg
24-Meas-Chanta---LIGHTEN-BODIES.jpg

Vorn Viva and Meas Chanta challenge German and English fighters in a

display of local kickboxing skill that organisers hope will take some

shine off rivals Thailand

Thomas Gam Nielsen

Meas Chanta (left) trains at Old Stadium in Phnom Penh in preparation

for his 68kg ISKA world title fight against Frankie Hudders of England

tonight.

FIGHT NIGHT

Cambodia's first kickboxing

world title bouts

When: August 28 (Tonight)

Fights start at 7pm, doors open at 6:30pm

Where: Olympic Stadium, Phnom Penh

Tickets: $3-$7

Six fights, including two title fights

  • Vorn Viva (Cambodia)

    23 fights, 15 wins, 7 losses, 1 draw, 10 KOs

    Alban Ahmedi (Germany)

    39 fights, 27 wins, 10 losses, 2 draws, 16 KOs

  • ISKA 68kg title fight

    Meas Chanta (Cambodia)

    48 fights, 34 wins, 12 losses, 2 draws, 15 KOs

    Frankie Hudders (England)

    56 fights, 48 wins, 8 losses, 21 KOs

PHNOM Penh, are you ready to rumble?

Tonight heralds the first world championship kickboxing fight to be

held in Cambodia, with two titles up for grabs at the Olympic Stadium.

Khmer fighter Vorn Viva will take on Alban Ahmedi of Germany in the

75kg weight class, while Cambodia's other contender, Meas Chanta, will

battle Englishman Frankie Hudders in the 68kg division.

Staged by local broadcaster CTN, the event marks the first time

Cambodian fighters have had the chance to claim an International Sport

Kickboxing Association (ISKA) world title.

CTN producer Aaron Leverton said the matches would take the sport to a

new level in Cambodia. "It may come as a shock for some of the Khmer

audience to see how good some of the fighters [from overseas] are. This

one lifts the competition level up."

Quiet confidence

Lerverton said Vorn Viva and Meas Chanta had both viewed footage of

Ahmedi and Hudders on video-sharing website YouTube, so had some idea

of what to expect when they take to the ring.

The pair told the Post they were in good spirits ahead of tonight's showdown at Olympic Stadium.

Vorn Viva, 21, said he was confident of upsetting Alban Ahmedi, eight years his senior.

"I'm bold enough to hope I will beat my opponent because I've been

training hard for nearly a month," said the Kampong Cham native.  "Each

day I train for five hours, and I have enough food, as well as the

encouragement of my trainer and relatives."

Meas Chanta, a 24-year-old from Kandal province, admitted his match against Hudders would be a step up.

"It will be the third time I've boxed with a foreigner," he said. "I won the other two times, which were friendly matches.

"I am 60 percent sure I can beat my partner. But this time is going to

be different because it is a world championship fight, not a friendly

match-up."

Experience counts

Hudders, who has been kickboxing for almost 20 years, said his experience would show through against Meas Chanta.

"I've been around a long time and fought a lot of good fights. I'm relaxed and ready to go," the Englishman said.

Although he has never fought in Cambodia, Hudders said he had heard good things about crowds here.

"From what I've seen and what I've been told, if you put up a good fight, they cheer you whether you win, lose or draw."

Leverton, meanwhile, said staging the world title fights in Phnom Penh

would boost Cambodian confidence in the nation's fierce rivalry with

kickboxing powerhouse Thailand.

There will be six fights in total tonight, including two international friendlies.

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