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Buakaw Por. Pramuk interview

Buakaw Por Pramuk is probably the most internationally recognizable fighter that Thailand has ever produced. The two time K-1 middleweight champion is a genuine superstar who regularly headlines shows in Europe, Japan and Korea. He has not fought in Thailand since 2002 so it was a rare treat for fans to see him back on home soil for an exhibition match with former trainer Namsak Noi, who is now based at Rawai Muay Thai in Phuket. The two had not spoken for years following Namsak Nois' acrimonious departure from the Por Pramuk camp years before but they were reunited to perform a Muay Thai demonstration in front of a packed crowd at Patong Boxing Stadium.
Before the show Buakaw found time to talk with MTP Magazine, and had this to say about being reunited with Namsak Noi afterall these years,

‘I am looking forward to seeing Namsak Noi again and hopefully I will get a chance to talk with him because he used to be my trainer.'

Buakaw's commitments to K-1 means he rarely gets the opportunity to fight under Muay Thai rules. K-1 rules differ from Muay Thai, in that elbows are forbidden and fighters are only allowed a single strike from within the clinch. So does the former Lumpinee Champion miss being able to utilize these weapons?

‘I do miss Thai boxing but it's okay because I'm very happy to be able to bring fame to Thailand. If I have a chance, I will come back to Muay Thai again but it really depends on my management. They would like me to do some Thai Boxing but I can't do it full time at the moment"

Buakaw may be returning to the Muay Thai ring later this year if a rematch with Contender Asia finalist John Wayne Parr, rumoured to be taking place in Jamaica in June, actually goes ahead.

‘I prefer Muay Thai to K-1 but they are not that different. K-1 is basically the same as Muay Thai but foreigners have just changed the rules to make it slightly different.
Now K-1 has become very famous amongst foreign people but it is still not so popular in
Thailand,' he says.

While success in K-1 may not be bring the same type of recognition amongst Thai people as being a Lumpinee or Ratchamnoen champion the financial rewards are infinitely greater.
As one of the superstars of K-1 Buakaw earns significantly more that any of his contemporaries on the domestic Muay Thai scene but in 2009 he will, once again, be Thailand's sole representative at the K-1 Max World Championships, K-1's only major competition to be held at a realistic weight for a Thai fighter. However Buakaw does not believe this is due to a shortage of fighting talent in Thailand,

‘There are other Thais who could do K-1 very well, better than me, but they just haven't been given the same opportunity. Personally I don't think my K-1 is that good but I am grateful to have been given the chance to become famous through fighting K-1."

Namsak Noi and Buakaw both enter the ring at Patong Boxing Stadium with their hands
wrapped but without boxing gloves. Namsak Noi inadvertently pokes his former student in the eye when performing his Wai Kru, and receives a friendly dig in the ribs for his troubles, it is the closest to genuine aggression either of them will come that evening.

Anyone expecting a proper fight would have been disappointed by what was essentially a glorified sparring session but it was still an entertaining spectacle. At the end of the two rounds Buakaw is quickly whisked away from a mob of Phuket tourists desperate for a photo of the champ.By contrast the Por Pramuk gym, where Buakaw lives and trains, is situated in a secluded rural location. So how does he find the more tourist based Muay Thai scene in Phuket?

‘This is my second time in Phuket and I am always made to feel welcome here. I think everyone knows that Muay Thai is a dangerous martial art and this is why foreigners are attracted to Muay Thai. Now foreigners have developed sufficiently to be able to fight with Thai people but Muay Thai is a Thai sport and the Thais are still better at it. Anyone can do Muay Thai though and if they have talent they will be recognized for it.'

This year Buakaw will be flying the flag for Thailand once again in the K-1 Max World Championship. He is scheduled to face Brazilian MMA veteran Andre Berto in the last 16 and will be hoping he can go on to take an unprecedented third K-1 Max Title back to Thailand.


Interview is made by MTP magazine


Post new comment
D-rop, Video editor (2420 posts)
Posted: 2009-04-23 at: 01:17
Was it this fight, they are talking about?
http://www.fansofk1.com/article?aID=2009&Ca tegory=3
stark (1143 posts)
Posted: 2009-04-23 at: 01:52
Yes, it is that fight
Post new comment



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