The world continues to turn and Buakaw Banchamek continues to fight his battles against his former gym of Por Pramuk. The Banchamek Gym Facebook page has been an incredible hub of information over the past few days, including Buakaw's public plea and demands from Por Pramuk and government intervention to attempt to settle the issues. It looks like Por Pramuk has to pay Buakaw 3 million baht (about $97,849) in back wages, they can waive that payment and release him from his contract, or continue to have him fight under the Por Pramuk banner until his five year contract with them expires and only take 40% of his fight purse.
Part of Buakaw's statement runs down all of the money which is owed to him, and it is a bit troubling. His K-1 pay in 2004 was 10 million yen/3.63 million baht and he received 1 million baht, which works out to $32,000 of about $118,000 which he was owed. 2005 was 2.5 million yen, he was paid $485 of $16,000. For 2006 he earned 20 million yen and only received $64,000 of $245,000. There is more if you follow that link, but it gives you an idea of the money being witheld from Buakaw and where part of his grievances lie.
As mentioned, the government is looking to step in with their ultimatum, looking to work out a deal between Buakaw, Thai Fight and Pro Pramuk gym to minimize the damages and how incredibly public this has become. Buakaw is a national celebrity and all of this cannot be good publicity. Government statement follows.
To All Thai Muay Thai fans,
From the conflict between Buakaw, the champion of Thai Fight 2011, and his previous camp, Por Pramuk, and Thai Sport Authority. I, Mr. Intarat Yodbangtoey, had received the order from General Jongsak Panishakul, the Secretary of Priminister of Thai Government to help solve the issue between Buakaw and everyone involved. Buakaw is a boxer who represents Thailand as on...e of the best muay thai boxers. He is also a cultural symbol for our country as well. With many experienced years in Muay Thai which he showed to the world by obtaining a two time K-1 champion in Thai Fight in 2011. I would like to step in and conceal the problem in a fair manner to everyone involved.
I spoke to Buakaw personally, and the correct information that I received is that Buakaw had been treated unfairly in way of pay-cuts and an unfair contract that was not clearly explained.
With proof in the form of documents, I , in the name of The office of National Identity, assign this project with the lead, and ordered from Big General Yoodthasak Sasriprapa, believes that Por Pramuk camp, Thai Fight event personals and Thai Sport Authority all represent Thai culture and need to discuss to help solve this issue as soon as possible.
On April 18, 2012 at 19:30-21:30pm Thailand time, I, Second General Intarat Yodbangtoey, received the order from Head General Jongsak Panishakul to help solve the problem that occured between these personals. By doing this, I repeatedly and continually report my actions for acknowledgement to Mr. Sakol Wannapong, the second commander of Thai Sport Authority. These are the results from information which I received from Buakaw:
1. Por Pramuk Camp must agree to pay 3 million Bahts for profit that are owed to Buakaw.
2. The 3 million Bahts can be substituted by letting Buakaw free from contract with Por Pramuk Camp.
3. If neither above are agreed from Por Pramuk Camp, Buakaw would continue to use his sur name as Por Pramuk for entering the fight, but the profit would be 40:60. Buakaw would received 60%, and Por Pramuk 40% until the 3 millions bahts are paid within this split profit. The money that Por Pramuk owed to Buakaw would be taken as 20% from each fight both in and out of the country of Thailand. Until the debt is paid and the five year contract has ended, Buakaw will continue to use sur name as Por Pramuk and train at his own facility. But all this would not involve the profit from the promoter both from commercial, pictures, movies etc.
And, as fair judgement to both sides, I will discuss this issue with Mr. Pramuk Rotejanaton before the final decision to solve this problem is to be made.
Mr. Intarat Yodbangtoey.
Dave Walsh has been covering MMA and Kickboxing since 2007 before changing his focus solely to Kickboxing in 2009, launching what was the only English-language site dedicated to giving Kickboxing similar coverage to what MMA receives. He was the co-founder of HeadKickLegend and now LiverKick. He resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he works as a writer of all trades.
His first novel, the Godslayer, is available now.