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The great Buakaw mystery: Investigation begun (Updated Thursday)

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Latest: The Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) will look into the K-1 controversy as Buakaw receives criticism from a fellow boxer.

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Sombat "Buakaw" Banchamek holds a press conference in his own gym to explain why he left the ring before the deciding round of his world championship bout. PATTANAPONG HIRUNAND

Thursday

Here's the latest from sports reporter Kittipong Thongsombat:

The Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) will look into the K-1 controversy involving Muay Thai star Buakaw Banchamek.

SAT deputy governor Sakol Wannapong said his organisation, which approved Saturday’s event, would hold a meeting to discuss the matter tomorrow.

"We allowed the organisers to hold the event and we will look into the matter carefully," Sakol said.

“The issue has effected the country’s sports."

Sakol said that the organisers were only allowed to host a Muay Thai event and that he was surprised that Buakaw and Kehl fought in K-1 rules.

“Other combat sports such as K-1 and MMA [mixed martial arts] are rivals of Muay Thai," he said.

Meanwhile, Samart Payakaroon, a former Muay Thai and world boxing champion, said he believed that the incident occurred because Buakaw wanted to terminate his contract with K-1 which expires at the end of next year.

“Without the contract, he would be able to make money in other tournaments," said Samart.

But Buakaw said on his Facebook page that the move had nothing to do with his contract with K-1.

“Although I am under contract with K-1, I can fight in other tournaments," he said.

Buakaw is scheduled to fight in the TopKing World Series in France on Nov 15.

Thai Fight star Antoine Pinto said he was disappointed by Buakaw’s action which caused damage to Muay Thai.

Buakaw said he left the venue to "protect Muay Thai" but Pinto had another idea.

“If you want to protect Muay Thai, you should respect the rules of any sports,’’ said the Frenchman.

“What you did was not for Muay Thai but for yourself."

Tuesday evening update

"I wanted to protect the reputation of Muay Thai," Buakaw told a press conference at his Banchamek Gym yesterday. PATTANAPONG HIRUNARD

Tuesday, it was Sombat "Buakaw" Banchamek's turn in the spotlight. Post Today reports the Muay Thai superstar held a press conference to explain why he abruptly left the ring before the deciding round of his championship fight against Germany's Enriko Kehl.

Buakaw told the media that he had clearly won the fight in three rounds. But when the decision turned out to be a draw, an "injustice" , he didn't want to continue. He insisted his decision to leave the ring was wholly his own.

"I wanted to protect the reputation of muay Thai. I have loved and learned (Muay Thai) since I was seven. I am never been unwilling to fight. I have fought at my best. But this time, I felt that my profession's reputation was about to be tarnished," he said. "Someone may or may not understand what I did, but I insist that I did not abandon my duty in the ring. Whether it was victory or not depended on the judges. But I want the spectators to decide for themselves."

He said he didn't want to talk about the possibilty his decision was related to gambling as he had already filed a complaint with police on October 7.

Buakaw said, however, he was not going to shirk his responsibility to K-1 if his contract was still in effect. He said he was ready to take on further fights and was open to a rematch with Kehl. He would honour his contract with K-1 until it ends in December, 2015.

Ned Kuruc, of K-1 Global Holdings, said that he was willing to hold talks with Buakaw to discuss his contract.

"I don't want to make any accusations against Buakaw," he said.

"We need information from him. Buakaw is still regarded as a K-1 legend and we need time to talk."

Buakaw has played a key role in making Muay Thai popular worldwide.

Story includes information from Bangkok Post reporters.

Monday evening update

K1 officials say they too want to know why Buakaw left the ring before the end of Saturday night's championship match. PORNPROM STRABHAYA

Officials of K1 Global Holdings Ltd, organisers of the K1 World Championship boxing competition held a press conference today. They said they were as surprised and shocked as anyone at Buakaw's abrupt disappearance from the ring before the fourth and deciding round of his fight with German opponent

They denied they would file a lawsuit against Buakaw at this time, saying they wanted to clear things with him first. They also denied they had insisted on a last-minute rule change as claimed by the Thai Muay Thai superstar. They said the same rules had been in place since 2004.

"We want to hear from Buakaw the real reason he left and thoroughly investigate the case, so there is no legal action at the moment," Ned Kurarc, director of K-1 Global Holdings Ltd, said. "We will wait for Buakaw to contact us. Otherwise we will try to contact his manager."

By walking out of the bout, the Thai fighter breached his contract with K-1 Global Holdings, which Mr Kurarc said runs through September next year. He said Buakaw was paid in full Sept 22.

The Thai fighter, who has not spoken to the media, has scheduled a press conference for Tuesday afternoon at his Banchamek Gym. In the meantime, a message regarding the controversy was posted to the Banchamek Gym Facebook page

"Buakaw refused to return to the K-1 ring because the rules had been changed just a few hours before the fight," the statement claimed. It added that the changed rules banned one of Buakaw's signature moves in an attempt to make the fight – in which the Thai fighter was favoured heavily – more even.

Buakaw's gym claimed the rule change was made due to the influence of international online-gambling websites.

Story also contains information from our online reporters.

Morning story

Buakaw misses with a punch against his German opponent shortly before he abruptly left the ring, losing the match through disqualification. Photo courtesy of the K-1 MAX World Championship organisers.

The great Buakaw mystery

Boxing fans are still wondering what happened to Muay Thai superstar Sombat "Buakaw" Banchamek Saturday night in his K-1 MAX World Championship final against Germany's Enriko Kehl.

He put in his mandatory three rounds, but then, when the match was declared a draw necessitating a tie-breaking fourth round, he suddenly disappeared from the ring

As a result, Buakaw, 31, was disqualified and his 22-year-old German opponent was crowned the new champion in the 70-kilogramme division, amid boos and jeers from the crowd in Pattaya.

Banchamek Gym Facebook page

The mystery was soon heightened when Buakaw posted a message on his Banchamek Gym Facebook page saying simply "I apologise for making my supporters perplexed.

"You'll soon understand me."

Speculation immediately centred on gambling as the reason behind Buakaw's sudden exit.

Buakaw files a complaint with police last Tuesday in front of a large media contingent about a gambling website taking bets on his upcoming K-1 MAX World Championship bout. THITI WANNAMONTA

Buakaw on Tuesday went to a police station to file a high-profile complaint about online gambling in connection with the K-1 MAX World Championship final.

Today, however, there are reports that Buakaw has also complained about a last-minute rule change that inhibited his fighting style.

We are likely to learn more later today. The K-1 MAX World Championship organisers have called a press conference for 2pm. They say they are going to file a lawsuit against the three-time K-1 champion.

Interestingly, Buakaw seems to be receiving more support than criticism in the social media, so K-1 will have some explaining to do.

Story includes information from our online reporters.

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Vocabulary:

abandon : to stop doing an activity before you have finished it - เลิก

abruptly : suddenly and unexpectedly, and often unpleasant - อย่างกะทันหัน

accusation : a statement that someone has done something wrong or illegal even though this has not been proved - ข้อกล่าวหา

amid : happening while something else is happening - ท่ามกลาง

apologise : to say you are sorry for doing something wrong or for causing a problem - ขอโทษ

approve : to give official permission - อนุมัต

as a result : it causes the following .... -

bet : to risk money on a race or an event by trying to predict the result - พนัน

boo : to make expressions of strong disapproval or disagreement - โห่ฮิ้ว

bout : a boxing or wrestling match - การแข่งขัน

breach (verb): to fail to follow a law, rule or agreement - ละเมิดกฎข้อบังคับ, ละเมิดสัญญา

claim : to say that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it - อ้าง

combat (noun): fighting; fighting during a war - การต่อสู้

contingent : a group of people who have something in common - คณะ

contract : an official written agreement - สัญญา

controversy : a disagreement that a lot of people have strong feelings about - ความขัดแย้ง

courtesy : provided free by a person or an organisation -

criticism : comments that show that you think something is wrong or bad - การวิจารณ์

declare : to announce officially - ประกาศ

deputy : a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation - รอง

disappear : to move something or someone somewhere where they can no longer be seen - หายไป, สาบสูญ, สูญหาย

disappointed : unhappy because someone or something was not as good as you hoped or expected, or because something did not happen - ผิดหวัง

disqualification : a decision not to allow someone to do something because they have done something wrong - การตัดสิทธิ

disqualify : to not allow someone to do something  because they have committed an offence - ทำให้หมดสภาพ

draw : a game that ends with both teams or players having the same number of points - เสมอกัน

due to : because of - เนื่องจาก

even : equal - เท่ากัน

exit : leaving - การออก

expire : to come to an end or stop being in use - หมดอายุ

favoured : expected to win -

file : to take official action like making a complaint - ยื่น, ยื่นคำร้อง

file a complaint : to make an official statement that someone has done something wrong - ยื่นคำร้อง

gambling : the activity of betting money, for example in a game or on a horse race - การพนัน

heighten : (of emotions) to cause to become stronger - เพิ่ม, ทำให้แข็งแรงขึ้น,ทำให้สำคัญขึ้น

high-profile (adj): creating a lot of public attention - เป็นที่สนใจจากคนในสังคม

honour : to do what you promised to do - ทำตามสัญญา

host : to provide the space and other things necessary for a special event - ทำหน้าที่เป็นเจ้าภาพ, เป็นผู้จัดรายการ

immediately (adv): happening right after something else with no delay; right away - ทันที

in effect : in use - กำลังใช้อยู่

in the meantime : during the time between two events or between the present time and a future event - เวลาในระหว่างนั้น

influence : the power to have an effect on people or things - อิทธิพล

inhibit (verb): to prevent something from happening or make it happen more slowly or less frequently than normal - ยับยั้ง, ขัดขวาง, กั้นขวาง

injustice : failure to treat someone fairly and to respect their rights - ความไม่ยุติธรรม

insist : to say very firmly that something must happen or must be done - ยืนกราน

investigate : to try to find out the facts about something in order to learn the truth about it - ตรวจสอบหาความจริง

jeers : shouting or laughing at someone in an unkind way - ตะโกนด่า เสียดสี

key : very important - ที่สำคัญ

lawsuit : a case that a court is asked to decide involving a disagreement between two people or groups - คดีที่ยื่นฟ้องต่อศาล

legal : relating to the law or lawyers; correct according to the law - เกี่ยวกับกฎหมาย ตามกฎหมาย

legend : a very famous person, especially in a particular field, who is admired by other people - บุคคลที่มีชื่อเสียง

mandatory : ordered by a law or rule - ตามข้อบังคับ

martial arts : any of the fighting sports that include judo and karate - ศิลปะการป้องกันตัว (เช่น ยูโด, คาราเต้)

matter : a situation or subject which is being dealt with or considered - เรื่อง, ภารกิจ, งาน

meanwhile : at the same time - ในเวลาเดียวกัน

media : radio, television, newspaper, the Internet, considered as a group - สื่อ

necessitate (verb): to make something necessary - ทำให้จำเป็น,ทำให้ไม่สามารถหลีกเลี่ยงได้

opponent : a person or team being competed against in a sports event - คู่ต่อสู้

perplexing : confused and anxious because you are unable to understand something - ซับซ้อน

press conference : an official meeting where someone makes a formal statement about a particular issue or event to journalists and answers their questions about it - การแถลงข่าว

profession : a type of job that needs special training or skill, especially one that needs a high level of education - อาชีพ

reputation : the opinion people have about how good or bad someone or something is - ชื่อเสียง

respect : to accept the importance of someone's rights or customs - เคารพ

responsibility : a duty; a duty to deal with or take care of somebody/something, so that you may be blamed if something goes wrong - ความรับผิดชอบ

ring (noun): the square/rectangular area where a boxing match takes place - เวทีมวย

rival : a person, group, team or business that competes with another - คู่ต่อสู้, คู่ปรับ, คู่แข่ง

role : the position or purpose that someone or something has in a situation, organisation, society or relationship - บทบาท

schedule : to arrange for something to happen at a particular time - ทำตารางเวลา, ทำกำหนดการ, กำหนดรายการ

scheduled : planned to happen at a particular time or day - ตามตารางเวลา

shirk (verb): to avoid doing something you should do - หลีกเลี่ยง, หนีภาระหน้าที่

shocked : very surprised and upset - ตกใจ

signature (adj): something special or unique about someone or something; a particular quality that makes something different from other similar things and makes it easy to recognise - สัญลักษณ์

social media : the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc. - เครือข่ายสังคมออนไลน์

spectator : a person who watches an activity without taking part - ผู้เข้าชม

speculation : ideas or discussion about what might happen or has happened or why something has happened without having complete information - การคาดการณ์

spotlight (noun): the centre of public attention - จุดสนใจของผู้คน, เป็นที่สนใจ

tarnished : spoiled; making people have a worse opinion of you than they did before - เสียหาย ด่างพร้อย

terminate : to end or stop something - ทำให้สิ้นสุด

tie : having the same number of points, rank, etc. - ได้แต้มหรือคะแนนเท่ากัน

turn : the time when somebody in a group of people should or is allowed to do something - โอกาส

venue : the place where an activity or event happens - สถานที่

victory : winning a competition or a battle - ชัยชนะ

wholly (adv): completely - ทั้งหมด, ทั้งสิ้น, เต็มที่

willing : to be happy to do something if it is needed - ซึ่งสมัครใจ, ซึ่งมีความตั้งใจ

wonder : to think about something because you want to know more facts or details about it - สงสัย

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