Kun Khmer star Lao Chetra is ready to take another big step in his career, and he will do so with the full support of his family.
This coming Saturday, 16 February, Chetra will take on multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion Superlek Kiatmoo9 in his ONE Super Series debut at the action-packed ONE: CLASH OF LEGENDS in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Muay Thai flyweight battle is one of the most anticipated bouts of the card, and Chetra will enter the Impact Arena with his oldest brother Lao Sinat by his side.
“My brothers Chantrea and Sinat are always there for me and help me whenever I need something,” Chetra explains.
“Not only when it comes to martial arts, but with everything!”
The youngest of the three brothers, Chetra says he never felt pressured to follow in his sibling’s footsteps, even when they reached Kun Khmer stardom in Cambodia.
As a young kid, Chetra’s childhood was much like other Cambodians as he went to school and studied in his province, Kompong Speu.
In the back of his mind, however, he always had a longing to step into the ring and compete.
“Nobody chose this career for me, I’ve been interested in [martial arts] since I was a young kid,” he explains.
“When my brother Sinat started competing, I got even more fascinated. It was maybe 15 years ago.
“The love for martial arts has always been there when I was young. Even when I started competing and lost a lot, I would cry all the time, but I kept training!”
Early in his career, the young Kun Khmer star suffered a severe knockout loss while competing in Phnom Penh, something that forced him to take a close look at his chosen path.
“During my seventh bout, I got hit and ended up with eleven stitches,” he explains.
“My sister and mother told me to stop fighting, but I all I had to say was: ‘At this point, there is absolutely no way I will stop!’ If I start something, I have to finish it.”
Even though he is the youngest, he gets the full support of his older brothers Chantrea and Sinat.
Both of his brothers are martial artists in their own right, but Chetra is the first to reach the global stage and now, he has the chance to represent Cambodia and his family.
Even if there was a time when the young Kun Khmer combatant did not have the support of his mother and sister, he now says they are all fully supportive of his passion.
Come Saturday, he will have the chance to show why he is widely regarded as one of Cambodia’s most prominent Kun Khmer practitioners.
As Chetra is about to step into the bright lights of ONE Championship, the talented debutant says he will never forget where he came from, or who helped him get there.
“My two brothers are very important to me,” Chetra states.
“They’ve helped me so much. Without them, I would not be where I am today!”