Buakaw Por Pramuk, aka Buakaw Benchamek, is one of the most iconic Muay Thai fighters. Since he was a little like many others Thais from poor regions of Thailand he had to find a way out of poverty.
Impoverished boys in Thailand often dedicate their lives to Thai Boxing. They start training at a very young age in the hope of becoming future champions. And only a few of them make it to the top.
An entry-level fighter gets a very low financial reward for all the hard. Competition is stiff which guarantees a very high level of skills at the top of the ladder.
Some of them make extra buck training tourists and aspiring fighters from the US and Europe in Muay Thai gyms and camps around Bangkok and Phuket. Buakaw was one of those guys that made it to the top.
He is a type of fighter that likes to dominate and control his opponent. He likes to assert his domination early in the fight and unfold his own game plan for the remaining rounds. He is definitely an aggressive fighter that doesn't mind going for an exchange.
His trademark technique is a lightning-fast left head kick. Another signature strike of his is a repetitive left-right push kick where he also moves with each strike towards the opponent.
He often likes to catch a theep (a front kick) and swipe a standing opponent's leg to throw him on the ground. He definitely likes to show dominance.
Another technique that he often applies is getting into a clinch fight with a forward straight knee or even a flying knee rather than regular punches.
Buakaw Por Pramuk is a highly decorated Thai Boxer. He has done more for promoting Muay Thai around the world than any other fighter in the modern history of Muay Thai. His technique is great and his attitude is highly competitive. His professional record matches that. He is a:
In fifteen years between 2000-2015, he had a professional record of 237 wins (66 KOs), 23 losses, and only 5 draws.
In one fight with Zaripov Rustem at Thai Fight extreme 2012, he presented most of his special moves in action. He has also shown why it is so important to establish a mental dominance early in the fight. His tactic was to control the opponent, make him more defensive, and to force him to accept Buakaw's own tempo.
Some fighters are more technical and others are more aggressive and explosive. Buakaw, somehow, combines both of the worlds and adds up what's uniquely his: a knockout power behind each punch. One thing in his fights is consistent and clearly visible - it is a very strong will to win.
At the time when I write this article Buakaw Benchamek is well over 30 yo but he is still active in very good shape.
That said, he is at the age when a pro fighter has to start planning his future outside of the ring.
He has founded a gym bearing his name in Bangkok. He not only manages it but also trains and spars with the students. This is a great chance for everyone to meet and to learn from the legend.
Read about other influential Muay Thai fighters and Kickboxers: