Buakaw Por. Pramuk has surfaced at last.
The former K-1 MAX champion has spoken to media in Thailand about his departure from his teamâ€™s facility earlier this month, and subsequent going off-radar.
He told Thai television that he has had some problems with his gym and his management for some time and that he wanted to retire as far back as 2009 but was â€śnot allowedâ€ť.
While stopping short of saying he was threatened, that does seem to be what he is implying. Like most Thai boxers, Buakaw lived on-camp in accommodation provided by the gym.
In his case it was a room shared with several other of the campâ€™s boxers, an unusual domiciling for a man who has been so successful and earned so much prize money over the years. K1 MAX paid him ten million yen in one year, a huge amount when exchanged for Thai baht.
According to the website FIghtSport Asia, Buakaw told his interviewer that he had wanted to go out more and enjoy himself, having spent his life training, competing and living at the gym. But his requests were refused and he remained the Por Pramuk cash cow.
He circumvented the issue of money and how much percentage the gym has been taking from him, but it has long been alleged that Por Pramuk takes as much as 80 per cent of his earnings. Thailand is not a rich country and a big earner like Buakaw is a huge asset to his team; given the extremely violent and ruthless nature of Thai gangsters, it is not outside the realms of possibility that Buakaw has been kept on line by some threat, real or imagined, to his physical well-being.
More news as we get it.