The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Sport - KYAW ZIN HLAING kyawz­inhlaing@mm­ NOVEM­BER 3, 2017

Punch­ing above weight

THE wait is over.

The much-an­tic­i­pated clash pit­ting lo­cal heart­throb Aung La Nsang against Alain Ngalain is the main event tonight at the Thuwana Sta­dium in what has been billed as a David ver­sus Go­liath fight.

Aung La Nsang, aka the Burmese Python, is the MMA mid­dleweight cham­pion while his ad­ver­sary, Cameroon-born but rep­re­sent­ing Hong Kong, is a four-time Muay Thai kick­box­ing cham­pion of the world and a heavy­weight at that, which is why the fight has cre­ated such a buzz among the lo­cal boxing fans.

Ex­pect Ngalain to weigh in around 104kg for the fight and that means Aung La Nsang, tipped to go in at about 93kg, will be punch­ing well be­yond his weight.

Ex­pect the sta­dium to be packed to the rafters.

One area where the lo­cal cham­pion holds a clear ad­van­tage is that his op­po­nent has less ex­pe­ri­ence fight­ing MMA. Whereas Aung La Nsang boasts a record of 20 wins against 10 losses, Ngalain has fought only six times, won three and lost three of them.

The other fac­tor in favour of Aung La Sang is his age: he is ten years younger than Ngalain, who is 42.

As for Ngalain, weight aside, his strength lies in the power of his punches and the back kicks which he ap­plies to telling ef­fect.

How Aung La Nsang, Sa, given his ex­pe­ri­ence and su­pe­rior ring craft, fares against his ad­ver­sary re­mains to be seen.

The lo­cal cham­pion has called out to his fans to come and cheer him. “Ev­ery­body come and watch me fight. I don’t feel un­der any kind of pres­sure. I’ll show what it takes a mid­dleweight to over­come a heavy­weight – su­pe­rior skill, speed and de­ter­mi­na­tion.’’

He even pre­dicted a second-round knock­out.

NZ, ’Boks in 2019 World Cup opener

THE New Zealand All Blacks will kick off their Rugby World Cup ti­tle de­fense against South Africa in a con­test be­tween two of the sport’s heavy­weights.

Rugby World Cup or­ga­niz­ers an­nounced the match schedule for the Sept 20-Nov 2 tour­na­ment yes­ter­day, ex­actly two years out from the tour­na­ment fi­nal in Yoko­hama.

The two-time de­fend­ing cham­pion All Blacks have never lost a pool game in the World Cup, but that record will be tested when they face the Spring­boks in a Pool B match on Sept 21. It will be the first time the teams have met in the pool stage.

New Zealand has won three World Cup ti­tles — in 1987, 2011 and ‘15. South Africa has won the sport’s show­case tour­na­ment twice, in­clud­ing a fa­mous 15-12 win over New Zealand in Jo­han­nes­burg in 1995.

The win­ner of the match at Yoko­hama would likely play Scot­land or Ja­pan in the quar­ter­fi­nals.

Two-time cham­pion Aus­tralia, which lost the 2015 fi­nal to the All Blacks in Eng­land, will kick off its cam­paign against Fiji in Sap­poro in Pool D, then faces Wales on Sept 29 in Tokyo.

Host Ja­pan will open the tour­na­ment against a qual­i­fier from Europe on Sept 20, 2019.

Eng­land opens its cam­paign in a dif­fi­cult Pool C on Sept 22 against Tonga in Sap­poro, then faces the United States on Sept 26 in Kobe, Ar­gentina on Oct 5 in Tokyo and France in Yoko­hama on Oct 12. France, a three-time fi­nal­ist, will face Ar­gentina in their opening match in what could be a de­ci­sive match for group stand­ings.

The Pool C win­ner faces a quar­ter­fi­nal against the run­ner-up from pool D, in­volv­ing Aus­tralia, Wales, Ge­or­gia, Fiji and an Amer­i­can qual­i­fier. – AP

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