THE BANCHAMEK GYM

special report by Serge TREFEU (2012)

 

 

 

The Thai star Buakaw Por Pramuk, the boxer the most known in Thailand, real national icon, has just gone up his own camp there is only a few days!

On March 1st, 2012, this great champion had left rashly his training camp of always, famous Por Pramuk Gym. He had disappeared by giving any more of news of him. Then, in all the Thai media, the affair Buakaw began...

The most crazy rumours have to circulate in his subject, certain persons said that he had died, the others said that he had been kidnapped by the mafia, nobody really knew why he had disappeared. A big television channel even broadcasted a wanted notice " But where is the star BUAKAW? "

This disappearance was disturbing because the champion had to fight on March 17th in France, Buakaw had to face the French star Fabio Pinca. The French promoter of this event not having of news anymore of the Thai champion has of quickly to find one a new opponent...



It is only at the end of about ten days which the Thai star again made spoken about him. Buakaw explained his disappearance, in live, in front of cameras of national television. It is in fact a dispute important one with his former Team who would have been at the origin of his departure of the Por Pramuk Gym. Buakaw was to return to his home town, to him, within his family, to stand back with regard to money troubles with his former manager. Officially, the champion does not want to work any more with the Team Por Pramuk, henceforth he wishes to manage himself his career...

Now he is associated with the brand YOKKAO, one of the biggest current sponsor in Thailand. Buakaw was already, for the last year, under contract with this company which makes of the equipment of boxing.



To be able to continue to train, Buakaw and the management of Yokkao decided together to create a camp in Ban Ko Kaeo, in the village which saw increasing the international star. This tiny village, of only a hundred inhabitants, is situated in the heart of Isaan, a dry and very poor region, in the northeast of the Thailand. A village which is 10 kilometers of the town of Samrong Thap in the province of Surin.

Buakaw village is 60 km from the main town called Surin, a city famous for its imposing elephant festival held each year.



Around the village of Ban Ko Kaeo, there are rice fields out of sight, and herds of buffalo scattered throughout.



The majority of people here are farmers who work hard every day to survive, Buakaw's parents were also farmers, their small farm still exists.



The Banchamek family which account five children lives for a long time in Ban Ka Kaeo. But only small Sombat it is introduced to the muay thai, during several years it is the older brother of Sombat who has to train the young fighter. Buakaw is going to make hundred of fights in all the province of Isaan before joining the Por Pramuk camp. In the time, the famous promoter Pramuk Rojanathan had come in the province of Surin to buy young fighters. He has fast spotted the rare pearl, the young person Sombat. It is thus towards the age of 12 years that Buakaw integrated the Por Pramuk camp situated to Chachoengsao. A few years later he will know of fabulous destiny which everyone knows...



The patriarch of the Banchamek, Leng Banchamek, who is 62 years old today raised with dignity his children in spite of the low incomes of the family. It was not easy for the parents of Buakaw to let leave their offspring far from home, especially for Mrs Banchamek who was very close to her son. Buakaw never talk about it but it has been greatly affected by the loss of his mother. Indeed, Mrs Banchamek died in a car accident there are about ten year...

Here, in Ban Ko Kaeo, Buakaw is the pride of all, people like him because besides being a celebrity, it is also the generous donor who made a lot for the very poor community of this village. It is thus at him, next to the house which he made build for his parents, that quite naturally, he wanted to build his camp...



The name is fast to find for this camp, he will be called the BANCHAMEK gym, in reference to Sombat Banchamek, the born name of Buakaw.



Gym it is build hastily, in only ten days, people of the village, the staff of Yokkao, all have done a great work with stunning results in so little time. The main structure is finished, on a concrete surface there is a brand new ring, near the boxing ring two magnificent punch bag are suspended from a wooden beam.



The camp is covered by a wide straw roof which gives a typical aspect to it gym. There are not more than some finishes to end this nice small camp. The artisans then apply to the last finishing touch, the sign which will beinscribed the name of the gym...



Buakaw, in man of heart, also wanted to build this camp for the children of his community, to make them discover the art of the muay thai, and which knows maybe to give them the taste for this unique sport which made him rich and celebrates. At the moment, there are only four nakmuays youngs which train for Banchamek. But Buakaw is going to make two trainers come who will take care of children of this camp, who will be certainly more and more numerous must to want to train here.



Henceforth, it is in his camp that the star of boxing rings will get ready for his future fights. Buakaw, in 29 years, which has already made more than 300 fights, has such an experience of the competition of the high level as he can get ready today all only.



He works only his physical condition, in the morning he run 10 km, made then by the jump rope and trains for the punch bag.



After noon, him run only 3 to 4 km, accompanied often with child's band who happily follows. When Buakaw makes its jogging, it is an event in the village which does not pass unnoticed, especially when there is in more a television channel which makes a report on the phenomenon Buakaw!



The star of K1 Max, who won the Thai Fight 2011, seems calm, happy to now be prepared at home, surrounded by his family, he can now manage peacefully the rest of his career, a career already full of achievement.



Regrettably it is another fight than Buakaw is going to have to now face, maybe the hardest of his career. Indeed further to his victorious match of April 17th, to Thai Fight on 2012, under the name of fighter of Buakaw Banchamek, his former boss Mr Pramuk Rojanathan decided to take him in to court. Mr Pramuk considered that Buakaw had committed a grave fault by fighting without its agreement because he was officially always under contract with the camp Por Pramuk. Then, a legal battle to be begun between the lawyers of Buakaw and those of the camp Por pramuk.



Mr Somchat Charoenwatcharawit (President of the professional Association of boxing in Thailand) gave reason to Mr Pramuk and imposed a suspension of 6 months for Buakaw, suspension approved by Minister of Tourism and Sports. Then May 31st, of new negotiation took place to try to find an agreement between both parts.



Buakaw it is seen offered a new contract which stipulated that he had to fight for the camp Por Pramuk until 2018, income resulting from his fights would be divided into 60 % for him and 40 % for the camp Pramuk, the income of the other activities (publicity, sponsor) would be divided into 75 % for him and 25 % for the camp Pramuk. But the lawyer of Buakaw declared that his client had to be entitled to 100 % of his income generated by the publicity and the sponsors, because he considers that Buakaw who is 30 years old has finally not many years to be fought on boxing rings. In disagreement, the Por pramuk camp then offered the possibility of selling Buakaw to another camp which would wish to buy him.

In the end, Buakaw under the pressure, wanted to put an end to all its problems, he it is to resign not to fight any more, he has to decide " to hang up gloves ", to retire. Henceforth, he will dedicate itself to the management of his camp, to the transmission of his knowledge in the youngest, because many children wish to train in his camp. A page of the history of the muay thai is turned, it fabulous champion to mark his imprint of the 2000s, maybe that one day we shall see again Buakaw on a boxing ring, but now Buakaw today is not any more a fighter, he became by necessity a trainer, a professor who has many to know in given, the history of Banchamek Gym is only beginning...



 

BANCHAMEK GYM

AMPHUE SAMRONG THAP

BAN KO KAEO

SURIN

 

Name of fighting: BUAKAW (The white lotus) BANCHAMEK
Real Name: Sombat Banchamek
Weight: 70 Kg
Height: 1m74
Number of combat: 372 fights. 310 wins (65 KO). 44 Losses and 18 draws
Title: Thai Fight Champion (2011), WMC World Champion (2011, 2009, 2006), K1 Max Champion (2006, 2004), S1 Champion (2005), Tournament Champion Toyota (2002), Omnoi Champion (2001, 2002), Thailand Champion (2001)
Team: BANCHAMEK GYM


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