Mayoral dreams of a young boxer

Feb 09, 2022

The legendary Manny Pacquiao, regarded as one of the best professional boxers of all time, has been serving as Senator in the Philippines since 2016.

Don’t be surprised if in the future you hear about another boxer walking in Pacquiao’s footsteps and becomes a mayor in Cambodia.

National lightweight champion Sao Rangsey not only believes he can be a boxer to be reckoned with, but also that he can serve the people well as a mayor in the future.

The second-year law student at the Phnom Penh International University, hopes to fulfil his dreams as a top-notch administrator as well.

“I love to be involved in the development of the country as well as the people,” said the 20-year-old, who is expected to feature prominently in the Cambodian boxing team in the coming years, including the home SEA Games in 2023.

Sao Rangsey, who hails from Sihanoukville, won a bronze medal at the Manila SEA Games three years.

“After my studies, I hope to join the military first. I definitely aim to be a mayor one day, not necessarily in my hometown but anywhere where I can contribute to the people,” he added.

Unbeaten in his class at the national championships for the past seven years, Sao Rangsey knows all about going against the odds.

He was barely 15-years-old when he won his first national title beating, among others, boxers older than him.

He has been unchallenged in the lightweight competition at home, winning in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.

His boxing prowess earned him his first international appearance at the Asian Games in Indonesia. While he failed to get past the preliminary rounds against more experienced boxers, he made his mark at the Manila SEA Games as well as winning the bronze at the Asian Championships in 2019.

But it has been a trying two years since, with no competition and proper training due to the endless Covid-19 pandemic.

“My performance has dropped off because of the lack of training but I believe I can be much better soon and hopefully get the chance to go to the Hanoi SEA Games,” he added.

The final selection for Vietnam has yet to be conducted, but Sao Rangsey is also already looking towards Cambodia 2023.

“It would be a honour to represent 16million Cambodians right at home. It would be a proud moment for any boxer and given the opportunity I would give my very best,” said the youngster, who initially had no interest in the sport.

This despite the fact that his father Meas Vendy was a boxing coach and his brother Sao Davuth, being a national boxing champion himself.

“It was only after watching others including my brother that I finally decided to give it a go,” said Sao Rangsey.

He did not take up boxing immediately, but instead dabbled in Cambodian boxing, Kun Khmer when he was 14-years-old.

A year after taking up boxing, he was crowned as the national champion.

If winning in boxing comes naturally for the diminutive lad, imagine what he could achieve with his mind set on becoming a mayor.