The latest installment of Thai Fight took place yesterday evening in Pattaya, Thailand and needless to say it was yet another exciting event for the promotion that delivered its fair share of devastating knockouts and drama. For U.S. fans, it would be a historic moment as American nakmuay Chaz Mulkey would be the first American to showcase his skill on the Thai promotion. Other exciting match ups would include a bout between Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee and Singhmanee Kaewsamrit that would decide the Thai representative for the upcoming Thai Fight final and the return of Kem Sitsongpeenong to the Thai Fight ring since winning last years 67 kg finals.
But perhaps the most talked about story regarding Thai Fight’s trip to the former G.I. playground that is Pattaya, was the drama surrounding Buakaw’s (sans the Por Pramuk surname mind you) return to the ring. Buakaw and his former owners at Por Pramuk Gym were involved in a tug of war that had the executives of Thai Fight caught in the middle. On one hand Thai Fight knew that the star power of Buakaw could only help to boost the interest in their show, but on the other hand Por Pramuk’s gym had secured the backing of Thailand’s boxing authority in stating that Buakaw was still under contract with them and therefore his performance on Thai Fight without their permission would constitute a grievous breach of contract. Rumors soared that Buakaw would serve jail time if he fought on the event. So…….what would the “White Lotus” do?! Well more on that later.
The first bout on the broadcast portion of the event would pit standout American nakmuay Chaz Mulkey against Thai fighter Bernueng TopKing Boxing. From the beginning, Bernueng charged forward at Mulkey showing no respect to the American. Mulkey tried to keep Bernueng at bay with a multitude of jabs, but Bernueng continued to push forward, at times taunting Mulkey while landing body kicks, punches, and tying Mulkey up in the clinch. It wasn’t a pretty fight as Bernueng’s unrelenting pressure turned the fight into the Muay Thai equivalent of a brawl. Mulkey never found his rhythm and Bernueng secured the unanimous decision win.
In the second bout of the evening 2011 67 kg Thai Fight champion Kem Sitsongpeenong faced off with French fighter Mickael Cornubet. As the opening round began it was pretty clear Kem had somewhere else he needed to be as he aggressively stalked Cornubet and unleashed an onslaught of elbows and spinning elbow strikes that opened up a gash on the Frenchman’s forehead. The doctor allowed the fight to continue but the damage was already done. Kem continued his assault on Cornubet and the referee was forced to stop the action a second time to have the doctor check Cornubet’s cut. This time the doctor felt he had seen enough thus awarding Kem the TKO win in Round 1.
The third bout of the broadcast pit Isuzu Cup winner Singhmanee Kaewsamrit against Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee for a spot on the Thai Fight Finals as the Thailand representative. The fight was a technical match up that saw Singhmanee being the aggressor using punch combinations and low kicks while Sudsakorn tried to counter with body kicks. However, Sudsakorn may have fought a little too defensively for the Thai Fight judges as they ultimately awarded Kaewsamrit the decision win and the spot in the Thai Fight finals.
So as we had mentioned before, Buakaw’s ability to fight at this installment of Thai Fight was largely in question due to the legal issues surrounding his departure from Por Pramuk. In the hours leading up to the event it seemed all but confirmed that Buakaw would not be allowed to participate. However, it seems Buakaw had other plans. As the Thai superstar’s name was announced the crowd erupted. Buakaw would in fact fight and he would be facing Russian fighter Rustem Zaripov. As the opening round began, Buakaw got to work quickly and no doubt seemed to take out all of the aggression he had bottled up as a result of his latest predicament on Zaripov. Zaripov did his best to mount some sort of aggression against the Thai juggernaut but it was all for naught as Buakaw repeatedly landed kick after kick on Zaripov’s body and arms. In round 2 Buakaw unleashed a bevy of punch and kick combinations that hurt the backpedaling Russian. A right hand strike hurt Zaripov and Buakaw smelled blood. Unleashing yet another combination of punches Buakaw put Zaripov down for good in round 2.
Afterwards Buakaw addressed the crowd and what he had to say has gained the Surin native even more ardent supporters. We would like to recognize our good friend Nopstar from MyMuaythai.com for the following translation of Buakaw’s post fight speech:
“I didn’t think I was going to fight tonight… I’ve got a lot of problems… I’ve been planning to fight on this event since the the beginning of the year… I’ve been training to fight on this event. I’m fighting because I’m a champion, I’m fighting for the King, I’m not just fighting for myself, I’m fighting for Thailand, I’m fighting for the people of Surin, I’m fighting for my father, and my mother who’s passed away. I don’t have any regrets, I’m so happy that I’ve followed through on my plans even if it means that tomorrow I’ll be arrested.”
Needless to say, Buakaw’s post fight speech has been met with fervent support from most, if not all of the Muay Thai community and most likely any action taken against him by his former handlers at Por Pramuk will be met with strong public disapproval. Buakaw is not only a great fighter but has now begun to show that he knows how to stir up a crowd and get them in his corner. He is definitely playing the game intelligently and is making himself out to be both a Muay Thai hero as well as a national hero for the people of Thailand. Buakaw for public office? We think so!
Below are the evening’s full results:
Buakaw Banchamek (formerly Por Pramuk) def. Rustem Zaripov by TKO in Rd. 2
Singmanee Kaewsamrit def. Sudsakorn Sor. Klinmee by Decision
Kem Sitsongpeenong def. Mickael Cornubet by TKO (Cut) in Rd. 1
Bernueng TopKing Boxing def. Chaz Mulkey by Decision
Chanaeak PK Muaythaigym def. Bibi Team Nikiema by Decision
Kemarat Sitjapae def Mathias Sitsongpeenong by Decision
Roongroj Petchrungruang def. Danny Jittigym by Decision
Armin Matli def. Ibrham Chiahou by TKO in Rd. 1