Buakaw disqualified in K-1 match

Buakaw disqualified in K-1 match

CHON BURI — A headline bout between Muay Thai superstar Sombat "Buakaw" Banchamek and Germany's Enriko Kehl took a twist on Saturday night, after the three-round fight ended in a draw and went down to a decider round but the Thai boxer had already left the ring without giving explanation, leaving viewers puzzled.

Buakaw, 31, was disqualified and missed the opportunity to become the first three-time K-1 MAX champion, while the 22-year-old German was crowned the new champion in the 70-kilogramme division, amid boos and jeers from the crowd in Pattaya.

On Sunday morning, a message posted on Banchamek Gym's Facebook page said: "I apologise for making my supporters puzzled. You'll soon understand me."

The message said most gamblers had bet that Buakaw would win the fight within three rounds. If the fight ended in a draw or Buakaw lost, these gamblers would lose their money.

Some reports said that this might have had something to do with an online gambling website promoted by the K-1 organisers. The organisers did not want to lose money and wanted to avoid a commotion, so they decided to have the deciding round. If Buakaw won that round, the gambling website would not lose much money.

According to other reports, Buakaw forfeited the fight because he might have been informed that the match was "rigged". Buakaw on Tuesday went to a police station to file a complaint about online gambling in connection with the K-1 MAX World Championship finals.

The reports said Buakaw decided to fight Kehl because he did not want to breach his contract with the tournament organiser.

The organiser on Sunday issued a statement simply saying the Thai fighter and his team left the ring before the result was announced.

The YouTube video above, uploaded by EventMovie, shows the match between Buakaw and Kehl in Pattaya on Saturday night. The two previously fought at the Max World Champions, held in Khon Kaen on Dec 10, 2013. The Thai fighter won by unanimous decision.

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