Interview of BUAKAW BANCHAMEK by Serge TREFEU (2012)
Serge TREFEU: Hello, how are you, in shape?
BUAKAW POR PRAMUK: Yes well, in great shape
How old are you?
I am 29 years old
You come of what region of the Thailand?
I was born in the village of Ban Ko Kaeo in the region of Surin, in the Isaan (northeast), it is a village in approximately 10 km of the city of Samrong Thap, I grew here with my family which is still there…
Do you married, you have children?
No I have no child, yes I hope a day, but at the moment I even am not still to marry, soon maybe (Laughter)
You have brothers and sisters?
We are five children in the family
You have brothers who fought?
No I am the only boxer of the family
You began the boxing at which age?
In 7 years
Child you were rather a brawler or not all?
Yes just a little, it was rather children’s small brawls, more to have fun, I am not a brawler… How you discovered the boxing?
With my older brother who likes the boxing have often looked at fights at the television, my older brother is an enthusiast of boxing it is him who introduced me to Muay Thai!
Your first fight you made him for which age?
In 7 years, I gained my first fight at points, it was in my village, I gained 100 bahts (2,50 euro) …
It’s not a lot in relation to you gain today?
Yes of course, it’s really nothing, but now that I think of it was still much for a small kid of the countryside (Laughter)
You began Muay Thai in which camp?
Was not it in a camp, I trained at home with my older brother, it’s him who taught everything to me, it’s him and my father who found me my fights, they were my managers in a sense…
You fought a lot in Isaan?
Yes enormously, between 7 and 12 years I have make 100 fights in all the region of the Northeast!
At what age you went to the camp Por Pramuk?
In fact, when I was 12 years old, Mr Pramuk Rochannatan, a big promoter of Bangkok came in our region, he looked for young boxers for his camp to Chachoengsao, he find me and brought with him in his camp, and since the age of 12 years I stayed in the camp Por pramuk…
In this camp there were many good boxers?
Yes and many boxers became recognized international fighters, there was great champions as Namsaknoi, Chookdee, Ponsawan, Kompayak, Nonthanon and many others…
Why you left the camp Por Pramuk?
I owe a lot to Mr Rochannatan but now I cannot work any more with Team Pramuk, I am henceforth going to dispute under the name of Buakaw Banchamek (Buakaw does not too much want to speak about it, the question a little seems to hamper him)
Today you thus opened your own camp?
Yes, I have just opened my camp in my home town to Ban Ko Kaeo, here, in my home, near my house. With my sponsor Yokkao we have build this camp which is hardly ended, he was made in only 10 days!
Now you are going to train and to prepare your fights in your camp?
Yes I have make build this camp to be able to continue to train correctly because now I want to manage myself my fighter’s career. But I also have make this camp for the children of my village, so that they can discover Muay Thai and maybe a day to be lucky as me to live well thanks to this sport…
It’s you who will give the lessons to the children of your village?
At the beginning yes but then I plan to make two trainers come who will also take care of young boxers…
There are how many boxers in your camp at the moment?
Only 3 or 4 small boxers, for the moment…
You train differently today in your camp in relation your training for the Por Pramuk Gym?
Yes I have of to change a little my training because I don’t have a trainer anymore at the moment, in the morning I am always my 10 km of jogging on the other hand after noon as it’s very warm in Isaan, I run only 4 to 5 km, I make many rope and rounds in the punch bag…
The rounds in paos and sessions of clinch don’t miss you?
At the moment not too much, from now on of many years than I fights I acquired a lot of experience on the boxing ring and I have need now that to work correctly my physical condition to be at the top…
Today in which category you fight?
In 70 kg
You gained many titles, what are the main belts that you gained?
I gained the belt of the stadium of Omnoi in 126 lbs and 135 lbs, the belt of Thailand in 126 lbs, the belt of the Tournament Toyota in 140 lbs, World Champion WMC’s belt in 154 lbs, the belt S1 – 70 kg, twice the belt of the Tournament K1 World Max – 70 kg and the belt of the Tournament Thai Fight – 70 kg!
How much have you make of fights, how much have you of victory and defeat?
I have make more than 300 fights with only about forty defeats and some draws!
You gained many fights by KO?
Yes many, I gained more than 60 victories by KO!
You have which style of boxing?
I am a fighter who moves forward and who is technical, my strength it’s to be able to adapt my boxing according to the style of fighter that I have in front of me…
What technique you love most in fight?
Low kick, middles and high kick, I like these techniques in fight!
What was so far your hardest fight?
All the fights are hard but I think that my fights in Japan were among the hardest because the level especially in the Tournament K1 Max the level was very high!
Among the fighters of the K1 Max which you met such as Masato, Kraus, Souwer, Sato, John Wayne Parr, Askerov, Holzken, Drago, Zambidis, which was the most difficult to fight?
It’s all great champions who were difficult to fight, I cannot say to you really who was hardest. Before when I fought only in Thailand I believed that the Thai fighters were the strongest of the world, but when I began to travel, I saw that many foreigners were also very good and that there were foreign fighters really so strong as Thai fighters!
You lost only in front of Masato, Sato, Kraus and Souwer, of whom think you of these fighters?
I don’t contest my defeats in front of Japanese champions on the other hand, for me, I had to gain against Dutch especially in front of Souwer!
Your best memory of boxing until today?
My victory in Thai Fight because I won at home in Thailand in front of my public, it’s my most beautiful memory!
Your victories in Japan for the Tournament K1 Max it also great moments?
Yes of course, they are also good memories especially in Japan because I like public Japanese, I have many fans over there (Laughter)
You fought a lot abroad, how much fight you made abroad?
I have make 56 fights abroad and I like travelling!
And in France, you have make how many fights?
In France I fought three times
You know French boxers?
I know Fabio Pinca the winner of the first one Thai Fight, I also know Skarbowsky who was very strong, I fought him moreover in Hong-Kong (Win on points)…
Justly you had to meet Fabio Pinca in France, why the fight not it is not made?
I cannot say to you about it too much on this fight, there were personal events which perturbed this fight in France (He does not wish to speak about these events)…
Do you think of meeting one day Fabio Pinca?
I don’t know, maybe, yes…
You met several times French fighters (Mourad Sari, draw, Djime Coulibaly, win on points, Abdallah Mabel, win on points, Mickael Piscitello, victory by KO), what think you of French fighters?
They are good fighters, often very technical!
For you who is the best nakmuay foreigner?
Before I saw the fights of Ramon Dekkers in video and I thought that it was the foreign the strongest fighter, but when I began to fight often abroad I saw that there were many of the other fighters so hardly as Dekkers, especially in Europe there is very good fighters!
The best Thai boxer at present it is who for you?
I cannot say to you, in Thailand there is a lot, many of the great fighters…
Who is your promoter today?
I don’t have a promoter anymore, I just have my manager of the sponsor Yokkao, I work with them henceforth but I wish now managed my career alone, to be independent…
You make a good living with the boxing?
Yes I gained a lot of money, I bought my house, I have a very beautiful car, I am at home with my family, OK, I am well…
What is your purse today?
1 million bahts (25 000 euro)!
When takes place your next fight?
In April to Pattaya for the Tournament Thai Fight, I meet a foreigner, I believe that it is French moreover but I am not sure (French Mickael Cornubet)…
Between the Thailand, Japan and the countries of Europe, in which one you prefer to fight?
In Japan because there is more money but to gain in Thailand in front of public Thai it is also a great honor!
You have make how much fight in Japan?
I had to make more than 30 fights in Japan!
You prefer to fight in Muay Thai or in K1 Rule?
Muay Thai is my discipline for a long time, I am a nak muay, I prefer to fight in Muay Thai but to fight in rule K1 it’s well also because he protect the fighter of the grave wounds. The most dangerous in the Thai Boxing it’s all the techniques with the pokes which can make wounds important for the fighters during his career, in K1 there are no techniques of pokes…
What would you like to make after the boxing?
Pass on my passion of the boxing in the young generations…
You shot in a Thai movie, a movie about former Muay Thai (Yamada, the Samurai of Ayothaya), whom keep you of this experience?
It was great, a big memory, in more we were several boxers sets in this movie (Anuwat, Seanchai, Yodseanklai, Jareonthong), it was really the good experience which I would like to renew, it ‘s sure..
Thank you and chookdee for your fight to Pattaya!
SERGE TREFEU AND BUAKAW BANCHAMEK
Buakaw is at present the Thai fighter best to pay to the world. His popularity in Thailand is so strong that every week the newspapers of the country speak about the star. In Thailand, all the world knows Buakaw, it became the Thai sportsman the most mediatized of moment. Besides being charismatic, this tremendous fighter is a real machine of war. It is the complete, technical, powerful, fast boxer and who has a big intelligence of the boxing ring. It is certainly the Thai boxer who the most fought abroad. He knew how to adapt his boxing to face and beat the best fighters of the planet. These dantesque fights in front of Lords of boxing rings such as Andy Souwer, Albert Kraus, John Wayne Parr, Masato Kobayashi, Yoshihiro Sato, became henceforth cult fights. This champion marked the story of the boxing for ever, Buakaw already come into the legend of Muay Thai!
Name of fighter : BUAKAW BANCHAMEK
Real name: SOMBAT BANCHAMEK
Weight : 70 Kg
Height : 1m74
Number of fight : 372. 310 Wins (65 KO). 44 losses and 18 draws
Title : Thai Fight Champion (2011), World Champion WMC (2011, 2009, 2006), K1 Max Champion (2006, 2004), S1 Champion (2005), Champion of the Tournament Toyota (2002), Omnoi Champion (2001, 2002), Thaïland Champion (2001)
Team : BANCHAMEK GYM