Buakaw to showcase Muay Thai at the 2024 Paris Olympics
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Buakaw to showcase Muay Thai at the 2024 Paris Olympics

This boxer is one of the most iconic figure in Muay Thai.

Key info

  • Name: Sombat Banchamek
  • Nickname: Buakaw or "The White Lotus"
  • Born: May 8th, 1982
  • Nationality: Thai
  • Known for: Muay Thai 
  • Instagram: @buakaw1
  • YouTube: @buakawboxing

Buakaw's role in the Olympic Games

Buakaw Banchamek is undeniably one of Thailand's most iconic figures in Muay Thai. Securing over 243 wins throughout his career, with 74 matches resulting in knockouts, Buakaw is an unstoppable force and Thailand's boxing legend.

Buakaw's commitment to promoting Muay Thai has helped the sport to gain more recognition and popularity. Through his active participation in events, demonstrations, and his boxing gym in Chiang Mai (Buakaw Village Gym), he not only promotes Muay Thai but also inspires the next generation of fighters.  

His latest involvement with The International Federation of Muay Thai Associations (IFMA) will bring Muay Thai to the global stage. The IFMA announced that Buakaw will be performing a traditional Muay Thai demonstration at the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics. Held in a specially constructed stadium at Club France, the event will include dedicated workshops, bringing in athletes from 24 countries, including Thailand. The Olympic Games will be held from July 26 until August 11, 2024.

Muay Thai Demonstration at the Olympics

Buakaw's Fight Records

Buakaw Banchamek (Sombat Banchamek), was born May 8, 1982. Like many Muay Thai legends, he began his career at a young age. He started training in his home province of Surin, in the northeast of Thailand, at the age of eight. By fifteen, he had secured multiple titles, including his first belt at Omnoi Stadium as a featherweight. In December 2002, Buakaw won the tournament at the prestigious Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, defeating the highly regarded Satoshi Kobayashi.  

In 2004, Buakaw received his first taste of international recognition when he won the K-1 MAX World Grand Prix tournament in Japan, beating John Wayne Parr, Takayuki Kohiruimaki and previous champion Masato. His electrifying performance sparked widespread interest and propelled the young fighter to popularity. The K-1 tournament was considered one of the largest kickboxing organisations in the world, it pitted some of the best fighters from around the world to fight one another. 

In 2007, Buakaw faced Masato for a second time at the K-1 World MAX where he lost to Masato by a unanimous decision. In 2009, Buakaw faced Andre Dida in the K-1 World MAX Finals. Buakaw dominated the first round, landing several powerful kicks, and was declared the winner by unanimous decision.

Some of his popular fights include fights with Saenchai, another of Thailand's acclaimed boxers and a Lumpinee Stadium champion who has an undefeated 70-fight streak. In 2022, Buakaw faced Kota Miura at Rajadamnern Stadium. Buakaw's lightning-fast kicks and powerful punches make his performance highly engaging and praised by many fans both in Thailand and around the world. 

While the highly anticipated Buakaw vs Manny Pacquiao, "Match of Legends" was scheduled in April 2024, the fight has been indefinitely postponed and is rumoured to have been cancelled. In an interview, Buakaw explained "My understanding is that the fight has gotten postponed. It hasn't gotten cancelled."

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