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Due to its unique curriculum, and its great popularity, Buakaw (White Lotus) POR PRAMUK is regarded worldwide as an icon of Muay Thai. His style is a reference, and charisma has attracted hundreds of thousands of fans around the world. But yet to reach the summit of his art and experience happiness, he had to make many sacrifices. Just before his final fight for THAI FIGHT 2012 this Sunday, December 16, Buakaw is exceptionally entrusted to us to tell us about his journey that led him to this fortune



Sombat BENCHAMEK (30 years), better known by his nickname Buakaw Por Pramuk was born 8 May 1982 in a small village named Ban Ko Kaeo in the Surin area located north-east of Thailand, at the border Cambodia. Buakaw was very young to face a crucial choice that came to adulthood has not only changed his destiny, but also that of his family: " 

At 7 years old, I had to choose between school and boxing. I chose boxing. myself I did my best to get there. My mother was always very encouraging, and I will never forget values she passed me during all these years. 

I come from a family of farmers who cultivated rice. With rice, we were on to ensure some wages, Thai rice is greatly appreciated throughout the world. "

Thus Buakaw started his career at the age of 8 years by fighting against other young boxers from neighboring villages, and he will be 15 years of age identified by the POR PRAMUK camp located him in the Chachoengsao province in central Thailand owned by Teeraphat ROJANATHAN.


In Thailand, the boxer is subject to the camp, according to the principles of Thai society. But in this, there is nothing dramatic, indeed it is a real opportunity for the young boxer as Muay Thai Camp is a structure that fully supports that the coach who led his sporting career and in return the boxer has an obligation to repay a percentage of their earnings per combat, which can go up to 60% to 70% in some cases.

Most of the time parents are very poor, who entrust their child to camp, to allow their offspring to feed, and in some camp,  "It is also an opportunity for their children to access the school education " .In Thailand, choose the path of Muaythai, is an ideal curriculum and provides opportunities for the children.

They will one day become great boxers, maybe Thailand champions , they certainly leave a portion of their camp scholarships, but they can also buy a house for their parents and access to a standard of living which was initially difficult to access



Nothing can beat a heart that refuses to lose



As Buakaw, young boxers train 6 days a week and twice a day, morning and afternoon, Muay Thai is a job for them, it is not as a passion or West leisure. It is their job, they should get up, train hard and fight, if they don't, they  are kicked out of the camp. 

"In Thailand, Muay Thai is considered as a sport, an  art and a profession. And when I feel discouraged, I tell myself that I have to fight, fight a little bit more. Nothing can beat a heart that refuses to lose. ' 


Early in his career, Buakaw POR PRAMUK has won many titles, including the belt Omnoi Stadium in Bangkok in the lightweight category (- 57 kg), which was his first trophy. He then became a champion of Thailand in the same category. 

In 2001, he won another belt Omnoi Stadium but this time in a division above in less than 61 kg. In 2002, 63.5 kg, he won the Toyota Marathon Belt Tournament at Lumpini Stadium by beating the highly regarded Kobayashi of Japan. 

This fight will be the turning point of his career, because from there, Buakaw will be recruited by the Japanese kickboxing organization K-1 to compete in their prestigious tournament K-1 World Max. Competition in less than 70 kg, which made him the star of rings it is today. Indeed, winning twice this challenge in 2004 and in 2006, became a star Buakaw warming, a reference to the feet fists, with hundreds of thousands of fans around the world! 

Buakaw fights multiply, successes and harvesting belts around the globe. Paradoxically, it is a flagship Kickboxing K-1 worldwide, " but lack of recognition in his own country " , Thailand, and suffers also a lot a lack of recognition in his own discipline: Muay Thai. 

Then in 2011, THAI FIGHT, a Thai organization that aims to compete with the big show as the Japanese K-1 is the logistical and financial means to attract Buakaw in his nets and thus make the icon of Muay Thai around the world. 


"Muaythai is boxing from my country. Organization THAI FIGHT is what is best for the highlights"


What I wanted was freedom


A few hundred baht he received in his youth when he fought in the campaigns in Thailand, Buakaw is spent on premiums by fighting tens of thousands of dollars with still a large reward for his camp POR PRAMUK.For his camp, Buakaw is a true "golden goose" and its owner does not hesitate to overload his schedule with fights, internships and various representations. 

After 15 years of loyal service to the Camp POR PRAMUK, Buakaw is under pressure and fled the camp who built his career. A fugue announced just before his fight against the French in March 2012 Fabio PINCA an event that was even reported in the news Thai at the time.On a TV set, Buakaw was even make a public apology for having done so.Buakaw will then be sponsored by the brand YOKKAO, then TOP KING to realize his dream, to build with his own hands a camp in his native village in Ban Ko Kaeo, and even decides to change its name fighter Buakaw PORPRAMUK by taking his name Civil: Sombat BENCHAMEK.

Today, after leaving the structure POR PRAMUK, regret it? Is there more happy in his new life?

"Nothing happens without effort. What I wanted was freedom. I succeeded. I have by my side my good friends and a good family who support me. I think it is essential. "



The agreement with POR PRAMUK 


But his attitude has led to the anger of his "prioprétaire" Teeraphat ROJANATHAN who sued this summer. Buakaw explains in detail the results of the trial: 

Mr TEERAPHAT and I had an agreement to use for each of my representations on behalf of Buakaw Por Pramuk until 4 November 2018. revenue 40% of my fights to be paid Mr TEERAPHAT and 60% for me. Regarding income from advertising, relations and public appearances, including income from activities using the name Buakaw Por Pramuk, 25% are granted to Mr TEERAPHAT and 75% for me. however if I am no longer able to box for some reason, this clause on income shares will cease to function. "

Unlike his first contract with POR PRAMUK, Buakaw we also said that Mr TEERAPHAT and he can both receive solicitations of any kind but instead the big news is that only Buakaw decides to accept the job offered to him .  

"Mr TEERAPHAT agreed to let me lead the way I want, and it also has to agree that I may live outside POR PRAMUK camp ".

Buakaw is now "free" to decide for himself, but still under contract with POR PRAMUK. His next fight is this Sunday, December 16, he will meet in the final of THAI FIGHT 2012 Bangkok Belarus Vitaly HURKOU. Although we have fears for Thai injury during his last duel in the semifinal against THAI FIGHT Japanese Tomoyuki Nishikawa, Buakaw seems confident that his health and wants to reassure his fans on

 "I have a little bruised shins, but I feel ready for the final. Following this fight, I would fight again until time that I can no longer. The road is long and hard to reach the top of Muaythai.

Interview by 


  • 2011 Thai Fight Tournament champion (-70 kg)
  • 2011 WMC World Junior Middleweight champion
  • 2010 Shoot Boxing cup World champion
  • 2009 WMC/MAD Muaythai World champion
  • 2006 K1 world  champion
  • 2006 WMC Super-Welterweight World champion
  • 2005 S-1 Super-Welterweight World champion
  • 2005 K-1 World MAX 2005 Finalist
  • M.T.A World Muay Thai Champion
  • 2004 K1 world Max champion
  • 2003 KOMA GP Lightweight champion
  • 2002 Toyota Muay Thai marathon tournament 140 lb. class winner
  • Omnoi Stadium Lightweight champion
  • 2001 Professional Boxing Association of Thailand Featherweight champion
  • Omnoi Stadium Featherweight champion