Brodal Boran Gym owner meets Kun Khmer legend

Posted by Unknown On Wednesday, July 25, 2018 2 comments

The legend of Ban begins with a 14-year-old running home from school. He stops to watch men practicing and asks to try. "They said, 'Oh, no, you too small,'" Ban recalls. "I said, 'No, I want to try.'" As is tradition in Cambodia, Ban's initial fight training was free. After two days of training, Ban declared he was ready to spar with experienced fighters. On the third day, the trainers let him learn his lesson. An experienced fighter beat the youngster around the ring, busting up his nose, lips and eye. But Ban came back to the gym the next day, and the next. It would become emblematic of his fighting style - always coming forward, always pressing the action. At 16, Ban fought his first bout, taking on a dockworker who was in his 30s. Again he was beaten around the ring until his handlers threw in the towel. "Oh, I break everything," Ban says with a laugh. "Then I quit." Several days later, the master at Ban's gym visited. "He says 'You come back, you be a champion,'" Ban says. Ban struggled in his second fight, but "then I win, win, win. Win all the time." Fighting at least once a month and often weekly, even two or three days back-to-back, Ban blossomed. In 1964, he won his first national title at 61 kilograms, or 135 pounds. According to his recollection, which Ban admits isn't perfect, between 1962 and 1975 he fought 309 times with a 278-31 record and 200 knockouts. His secret was his inside technique, which earned him nicknames such as "The Atomic Knee." "My knee was so fast. I surprised myself," Ban says. "I got famous, like Mike Tyson. I beat all Cambodian fighters."


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