Friday’s much-anticipated rematch bout between top Cambodian heavyweight kickboxer Ei Phouthang and Sudanese kickboxer Faisan Nakaria is expected to draw as many as 15,000 fight fans to the Old Stadium in Phnom Penh, officials said Tuesday.
Eight other kickboxing matches—one featuring a fighter from Denmark and another from France—and one Western-style boxing match will also take place. The fights are scheduled for the first day of the Water Festival.
Seng Kadeka, TV5’s assistant managing director, said Monday that about 5,000 chairs have been made ready for the event, while the stadium’s seats could hold another 5,000 people. Another 5,000 will have to stand, he said.
Phnom Penh Municipal Deputy Police Chief Hy Prou said the police would provide security. He said he was not afraid of dangerous overcrowding.
Faisan Nakaria beat Ei Phouthang in a fifth-round knockout on Oct 27, 2002. More than 5,000 people flocked to TV5’s Borei Keila arena for that match, forcing TV5 officials to turn people away at the gate because of the capacity limit.
This year’s rematch is scheduled to be held at the Old Stadium due to the large amount of interest that last year’s fight generated, Seng Kadeka said. Tickets will cost $1, $3 and $5.
Ei Phouthang easily knocked out two foreign kickboxers in Phnom Penh earlier this year.
Troeung Sos Say, coach of the Military Police club, said Wednesday that the Cambodian champion will win because he has trained hard and maintained stringent discipline. “I have 70 percent confidence that Ei Phouthang will win,” Troeung Sos Say said.
Ei Phouthang’s younger brother, Outh Phouthang, will fight a man from Denmark that fight officials would only identify as “Suki.” Also, Chey Kosal will box Christopher Mertens of France.
Other fights include Thon Sophea vs Voy Sothun; Soeng Vicheka vs Long Kimsen; Math Chaveng vs Khoem Dima; Thy Narin vs Tith Sovankiry; Les Math Sos vs Virak Chun and Les Math Sar vs Phi Sopheak.
A Western-style boxing match will feature Troeung Sos Vannak against Koam Bora.