Boxer’s Poor Showing Sparks Investigation

Cambodia’s top kickboxer could be permanently barred from the ring after a dismal performance Thursday night that prompted an outburst of bottle-hurling fury from disappointed spectators.

The Cambodian Amateur Box­ing Federation will investigate Ei Phouthang’s poor showing in his bout with Australian fighter Ti­mure Dell before determining the kickboxer’s future in the sport, president Oum Yourann said Sunday.

“We have to examine it carefully before we take any action,” he said. Ei Phouthang could face temporary suspension or permanent expulsion from the boxing circuit if evidence of improper conduct is  found, he added.

A thousands-strong crowd at Olympic Stadium booed as Ei Phouthang was pummeled by Dell, who lost to the Cambodian in a 2001 revenge match.

Ei Phouthang fled the ring in the fourth round as furious fans pelted the boxers with water bottles.

The boxer dodged reporters who gathered at his Chamkar Mon district home Sunday morning without answering questions. On Friday, Ei Phouthang denied he took any money to throw the fight, and attributed his performance to a dog bite to his calf muscle.

But CABF ringside doctor Chhoeung Yavyen said the boxer appeared in good health during a pre-fight examination. The doctor saw a small scar on Ei Phou­thang’s leg, but the wound ap­peared healed, he said.

“We are very careful about the fighters’ health.

If he felt sick, we could not have allowed him to fight,” Chhoeung Yavyen said.

Chhit Sarim, Ei Phouthang’s coach, said Sunday that his protege trained hard for the bout.

At Olympic Stadium Thursday, fans said they were frustrated by their hero’s defeat.

“I was very shocked and quite upset because he didn’t fight back as he suffered a lot of kicks from his opponent,” said spectator Reth Phan, 31, questioning whether the fighter may have taken a bribe.

Spectator Than Chin blamed poor training for Ei Phouthang’s performance, which he called the worst fight he had ever seen from his longtime favorite.


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