Buakaw gains sweet revenge over only fighter to knock him out
Muay Thai legend Buakaw Banchamek gained revenge by knocking out Japan’s Yoshihiro Sato in the first round at Rajadamnern Muay Thai Stadium in Bangkok on Friday night.
The 40-year-old Buakaw Banchamek was facing Sato, 41, a two-time K-1 Max Japan tournament winner and the only man ever to knock out the Thai fighter.
Their exhibition bout topped October’s bill of the Rajadamnern World Series “KAT Presents Legends of Rajadamnern”.
Buakaw had won three of their four previous encounters but suffered the only knockout of his career against Sato in 2008.
Both fighters started Friday night’s three-round match tentatively, wary of each other’s power.
Sato used his 11-centimetre height advantage to fire off a body kick early on, showing no signs of ring rust even though he hadn’t fought for seven years.
But Buakaw saw the kick, caught it and threw the Japanese fighter to the ground. The Thai warrior easily evaded three more kicks and started to counter with punching combinations.
Sato finally connected with a body kick and tied Buakaw up in the clinch but couldn’t do any damage there. He kept the Thai at bay with a kick but suffered a hard one-two to the body.
With a minute remaining in the first round, Sato went down for the first time but it was more of a slip. Sensing his Japanese rival was tiring, Buakaw unleashed a vicious one-two combination to the head, connecting with an overhand right that sent Sato to the canvas. The Japanese managed to get up but his wobbly legs showed he was in no state to continue. The referee called off the match 2 minutes and 15 seconds into the first round.
Buakaw successfully secured his second victory this year at Rajadamnern Stadium, in his return to the famous Bangkok venue after eight years.
The “KAT Presents Legend of Rajadamnern” was organised by Global Sport Ventures Ltd in collaboration with the Kickboxing Association of Thailand (KAT) and sponsored by the National Sports Development Fund.