Top Kick Boxer To Fight at Olympic Stadium

Top kick boxer Ei Pouthang will face off against an Australian opponent Thursday in the first fight card at Olympic Stadium since the storied facility was shuttered for renovations last year.

Some 8,000 fans are expected to attend the fights, which will begin at 5 pm, said TV5 assistant managing director Seng Kadeka. The station has not decided whether it will broadcast the event live, he said.

Ei Phouthang will fight Timure Dell for the fourth time in his career. In 2000, Dell defeated Ei Phouthang twice in fifth-round decisions, but Ei Phouthang won their last fight in 2001.

“I hope I will win, because I know his techniques,” Ei Phou­thang said Monday, adding that he has trained hard in recent weeks.

It will be Ei Phouthang’s second match since reclaiming an international belt from Sudan’s Faisan Nakaria in a blockbuster fight in November. A year earlier, Nakaria knocked out Ei Phou­thang in a fight that led to harsh criticism of the Cambodian’s training habits.

Potentially as enthralling as the fights will be how Olympic Stadium stands up to its first major crowd since the Taiwanese Yuanta Group was contracted to do renovations and development around the facility, considered a national heritage site.

Earlier this year, national football officials inspected the stadium and withdrew the country’s host status for a regional tournament later this year, saying renovations were incomplete and a capacity crowd would cause the stadium to flood with sewage.

On Monday an official at the Education Ministry, which owns the facility, said Yuanta’s $3.6 million renovations were finished and the stadium was handed back to the ministry on April 28. The official requested anonymity for fear of punishment for talking about the controversial contract.

The nine scheduled matches on Thursday will feature Bun Sothea of the Interior Ministry club, Rev Virak of the RCAF club, and Chey Kosal of the Military Police club, against fighters from Slovakia, Australia and France. The five other matches will pit foreigners against foreigners.

Tickets cost between $3 and $5.

 

 

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