Muay Thai legend Buakaw Banchamek misses fight season for the first time in over 20 years

Is Buakaw Retired?

The passing year looks to become the first season in over 20 years when Buakaw Banchamek has not stepped inside the boxing ring. While not officially retired, “The White Lotus” last fought back in October 2019. Early 2020 he was named Top 3 favorite male athlete in Thailand.


Pandemic put a halt to sporting and other events worldwide for some time. In March it was reported that Muay Thai event in Bangkok led to over 100 coronavirus cases.

It is unknown why Buakaw did not compete in 2020 – whether it’s due to pandemic or there was another reason. His Thai-fellow Yodsanklai Fairtex fought in July, while Saenchai is scheduled for his sixth bout for the year this coming Saturday at Thai Fight Nan.

Buakaw started fighting back in 1990 at the age of 8. In May he celebrated his 38th birthday.

While the first known date of his fight records January 1, 2000, it is logical to believe he had secured a few bouts prior to that.

Going by what’s publicly available, Buakaw hasn’t missed a season during the last two decades. Assuming he fought every year from 1990 to 2000 it makes it three.

From 1997 to 2012 Buakaw represented Por. Pramuk Gym. He made his name during the heyday of K-1 in Japan, twice winning K-1 World MAX Grand Prix (2004 and 2006).

From 2012 Buakaw is based at Banchamek Gym. He is a true Muay Thai ambassador known globally.

Over the course of his career Buakaw defeated dozens notable fighters including Jomhod Kiatadisak, Andy Souwer, John Wayne Parr, Albert Kraus, Yoshiro Sato, and the list goes on.


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