Khmer boxer Prum Samnang has defeated British fighter Thomas Carpenter in an event in Thailand, earning plaudits from Cambodian and Thai fans, despite their current animosity to each other.
During the Muay Thai, or Kun Khmer match (depending on your take on the argument) Samnang was able to take our Carpenter after just 2 minutes, despite being considerably shorter than his British opponent.
Prum Samnang who is 38 is busy preparing for the upcoming SEA Games in Cambodia and is considered one of Cambodia’s great hopes in the games, having won a bronze at the last SEA Games in Vietnam.
To read about Cambodias first boxing gold medals click here
Kun Khmer or Muay Thai?
The recent controversy between the two nations started when Cambodia included the “boxing” event, but under the name Kun Khmer, rather than Muay Thai, something which Thai netizens took much offense about, not dissimilar to when Cambodia was voted a more friendly nation.
To read about Cambodia being voted the fourth friendliest country for expats click here.
Cambodia’s take though is that the martial art originated in Cambodia and thus should be called Kun Khmer. The controversy was further ramped up when the Vice President of the Khmer Boxing Federation Oknha Srey Chanthorn offered almost $270,000 for any boxer that could beat the so called ‘Thai boxing king’ Buakaw Banchamek
The controversy though has far from inspired boxers, which some stating that it had in fact added extra stress as a time when they needed to be focussing.
In the end though and much like with any other sport all that does and will matter will be how the athletes compete in the ring and of course who actually manages to get the gold medals at the SEA Games.
This article is adapted from BPVE SPORT Cambodia, reported and edited from the great team – Cambodia Sports Review.
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