Following an argument over the origin of kickboxing between Thailand and Cambodia, the World Muaythai Organisation (WMO) has banned Brazilian boxer Thiago Teixeira from the sport after he announced support for Kun Khmer. His Apex Fight Series middleweight class championship record was also expunged.
Cambodia is pushing to gain international recognition for its version of kickboxing, Kun Khmer. The country has even removed Muay Thai from their list of sports for the upcoming Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), replacing it with Kun Khmer. This decision resulted in Thai athletes withdrawing from the competition.
The International Federation of Muaythai Associations (IFMA) has since announced that any country participating in Kun Khmer would be banned from joining major events such as the World Games, Asian Indoor Games, Asian Martial Arts Games, and World Boxing Championship.
The controversy further escalated when Cambodia appointed Brazilian boxer Thiago Teixeira, as the ambassador for Kun Khmer. The 30 year old Teixeira, who previously trained in Muay Thai in Phuket, Thailand, and boasts a tattoo of the words “Muay Thai” on his back, changed his Facebook name to Thiago Teixeira Kun Khmer and announced his love of the Cambodian version of the sport.
Teixeira also changed his Facebook account from thiago.muaythai to Thiago Teixeira Brazilian Fighter Khmer Heart and announced that he would join the next competition in the Cambodian style.
On April 1, Teixeira travelled to Germany to take part in a middleweight class competition of the Apex Fight Series that was held by the WMO. He defeated the English boxer Joe Craven and celebrated by waving the Cambodian national flag.
As a result of his actions, the WMO announced yesterday that they would confiscate Teixeira’s titles and ban him from future competitions held by the organization. In a part of the announcement, the WMO stated…
“After a thorough review of his actions both before and after the fight, we found his behaviour to bring the sport of Muay Thai into disrepute. His actions were politically motivated and fundamentally unsportsmanlike aimed at degrading the national sport of Thailand and inciting hate.”
Aside from the origin of kickboxing, Cambodia also made claims regarding the monogram pattern of the designer brand Louis Vuitton and the popular elephant pants in Thailand, stating that they were inspired by Cambodian ancient art.
This story is set to rumble on.
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