Buakaw Por Pramuk, alias 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. Young impoverished boys in Thailand dedicate their lives to Thai Boxing at a very young age to become good at it. And only a few of them make it to the top. At an early stages. fighter gets a very low financial reward for all the sweat and blood they spill. Competition is stiff which guarantee a very high level of skills at the top of the ladder.
He is a type of a fighter that likes to dominate and to control his opponent during a fight. He likes to assert his domination early in the fight and then to unfold his game plan for the remaining rounds. Like most of the thaiboxers he is definitely an offensive fighter.
His trademark technique is a lightning fast left leg head kick. He has also got a few signature strikes and special combinations: one of them is a repetitive left-right push kicks. He also likes to catch a theep and swipe the opponent's leg throwing him to the ground to show his dominance in the ring. Another Buakaw's signature move is closing a distance to the opponent and getting into a clinch fight with a forward straight knee or a flying knee rather than punches.
Between the year 2000 and 2015 he had a professional Muay Thai record of 237 wins (66 KO's), 23 losses (one by TKO) and only 5 draws.
I like the fight between Buakaw and Zaripov Rustem at Thai Fight extreme 2012 which presents most of his special moves in action. It also shows why it is so important to establish a mental dominance early in the fight to control the opponent, make him more defensive and to force him to accept your own tempo. Some fighters are more technical and some other are more wild and explosive. Buakaw, somehow, combines both of the worlds and adds up a knockout power behind each punch. One thing in his fights is consistent and clearly visible - it is a strong will to win.
At the time when I write this article Buakaw Benchamek is 33 years old and while he is still in his prime he is at this age for a fighter to start planning his future outside of the ring. He has set up two gyms bearing his name in Thailand: one in Surin and one in Bangkok. He is not only managing them but also training and sparring with students. This is a great chance to train and to learn from the legend.