In a bid to boost Kun Lbokator in Cambodia, the first Neak Leng Kun event will take place on September 2-3. Four nations will participate in the contest, which aims to promote the traditional combat sport.

Organised in collaboration with the Cambodia Kun Lbokator Federation and sponsored by Natural Beauty Cambodia, the idea was conceived by Neak Leng Kun fighters, in order to honour the traditions of past boxers who convened in areas with martial art schools.

The tournament is meant to increase interest in traditional boxing in local communities, which will contribute to the historical importance of Khmer warrior heroes and their instructors.

The platform also serves to promote the global recognition of Kun Lbokator as it transitions into an international sport, bringing together competitors from Vietnam, Spain, and Uzbekistan.

“Our aim is to promote our ancestral martial art both domestically and internationally. Additionally, we seek to elevate the skills and experience of our boxers,” said Soy Phannich, manager of the programme.

The games will unfold over a two day period near Wat Sngoun Pich, and twelve pairs of fighters have been matched up. Among the twelve, three will take part in international matches and vie for prestigious trophies.

Ou Dara, deputy secretary-general of the Kun Lbokator Federation, highlighted the occasion’s significance.

“The meet brings immense benefits to our people, bridging the gap in technical expertise and experience beyond our national championship contests,” Dara said.

The showdown will also help pave the way for Phnom Penh and provincial athletes to sustain their Kun Lbokator careers.

The two-day showpiece features six clashes per day, with notable matchups. Bouts are scheduled for between 4.00pm and 6.30pm.

The Kingdom’s SEA Games medalist Deb Nget will face off against Uzbekistani Akodbir Eshplilatov in the 58kg category, with Nget’s fellow medallist Chon Chet will contend with Spain’s Francisco Jose Vinuelas Borras in the 65kg class.

Pich Kamte will take on Vietnam’s Nguyen Quang Luan in a 52kg bout, while the nine additional matchups will see Cambodian Lbokator exponents facing off against their compatriots.