As national rivalries go, few would appear to rank higher or run deeper than the centuries-old tension between Cambodian and Thailand. The friction dates back to the Angkorean era, when battles between the two kingdoms resulted in the slaughter of thousands.
Growing up in apartheid South Africa, Paddy learned to fight at a young age. "I started bare-knuckle boxing over thirty years ago," the friendly and formidable Durbanite says. "Also, I'm a black belt (sixth dan) in karate. I've always been in the fight game all my life."
Khmer kickboxing will get a shot on the world stage next month when S-1 title holder Meas Chanta fights in the European debut of the S-1 World Championship.
Scheduled for March 4 to 7 at the Loutraki Casino near Athens, Greece, the four-day event will pit eight S-1 national champions against each other in a "sudden death" tournament. Fighters will be competing for a US$10,000 cash purse and a place in the S-1 finals later this year, where even bigger money awaits.