Thai Fight champion Buakaw "Por Pramuk" Banchamek stunned the Thai public yesterday by announcing he was retiring from the ring over a conflict with his boxing camp.
Somchart Charoenwatcharawit, president of the Amateur Boxing Association of Thailand, yesterday chaired a meeting at the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) office in a bid to reach a compromise in a row over money between Buakaw and his boxing camp Por Pramuk.
Dech Jaikla, director of the Thai Boxing Committee, was also involved in the talks. During more than an hour of discussions, Buakaw kept mum while SAT vice governor Sakol Wannapong acted as middleman between the boxer and his camp.
However, an agreement over future benefits from Buakaw’s career as well as the boxer’s appearance fees could not be reached.
An angry Buakaw then silenced everyone with his dramatic decision. “They refuse to agree on anything. The best thing is to call it a day. This messed up situation must end.
“I call it quits. At 30, I think I’m getting old. I should retire from boxing today. It’s better to do it now rather than later, when I can no longer fight. But I shot to fame because of boxing. Therefore, I owe it to the sport to stay in boxing circles. I have my boxing camp Banchamek to look after in Surin.”
Buakaw burst onto the international stage when he became the K-1 MAX World champion in 2004 after beating John Wayne Parr, Takayuki Kohiruimaki and previous champion Masato.
Last December he fought Franki Giorgi for the 2011 Thai Fight 70kg Tournament title and won by unanimous decision.
However, on March 1 he went missing from his training camp and on March 12 appeared on a Thai TV talk show and apologised to fans. He said he had problems with Por Pramuk Gym since 2009 and felt insulted by the behaviour of a key figure there, which prompted him to do the disappearing act.
He had been scheduled to visit Japan with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra for an exhibition match but it was cancelled. He said that after much contemplation, he decided to part ways with the gym. “I can stand tough training, but not poor treatment. It is about the mind, not the body.”
Buakaw resumed training at the newly-built Banchamek Gym (named after him) on March 22.
He filed a successful complaint with the SAT that he was being “unfairly treated” by Por Pramuk. His conflict with the boxing camp has raged ever since.