Former Boxing Champ Scores Comeback Win

Former kickboxing champion Ei Phouthang staged a comeback victory Sunday in his first bout fol­lowing a lengthy suspension.

The crowd roared madly as Ei Phouthang stepped into the ring at TV5’s hot and stuffy Borei Keila arena to face Slovakian kickboxer Richard Simko.

In the first round, both fighters stood their ground, waiting pa­tiently for an opening.

The fighters picked up speed in the next four rounds, ex­changing a volley of kicks, knees, punches and the occasional elbow.

Ei Phouthang smiled when the Slovakian clipped him, and re­sponded with a series of devastating right kicks.

In the fourth round, Simko’s swol­len wrist had to be examined by the ring­side doc­tor, who said the in­jury was not serious enough to stop the fight.

Despite Simko’s valiant showing, the more experienced Cam­bo­dian won out eventually.

On May 11, boxing officials handed down a seven-month suspension against Ei Phouthang af­ter accusing him of throwing a May 6 fight against Australian kickboxer Timure Dell.

The contorversial fight end­ed with angry fans pelting the ring with plastic bottles.

Oum Yourann, president of the Cambodian Boxing Federation, said that Ei Phouthang had trained hard to win back his name.

“Now he can win back his reputation because he had a better fight,” he said.

Oum Yourann’s sentiments were mirrored by many adoring fans.

“This time he fought better,” said 30-year-old Reth Ran.

“I love Ei Phoutang,” added 11-year-old Nuon Buya, as the former champion shook hands with mem­bers of the audience.

Ei Phouthang said he was ecstatic to be back in the ring and thankful to have been given the chance to make amends for his pre­­vious feeble performance, which he attributed to a leg injury caused by a dog bite.

“Now this bad thing has disappeared,” he said. “I am very hap­py about this win.”


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