You would be hard-pressed to find more internationally known fighters in Thai boxing than Buakaw and Saenchai. The first-named became famous in the golden era of the Japanese K-1 organization, where he destroyed opponents with incredible hardness. His battles with Masat, Sauwer and others belong to the golden pool of kickboxing. For many foreign fighters, he was the inspiration for the trip to Thailand.
The slightly smaller Saenchai, on the other hand, became famous as a brilliant technician who can defeat even much bigger fighters in the ring and still allows himself to use kicks like those cut out of action movies. Fans especially love his so-called cartwheel kick.
Saenchai and his famous cartwheel kick | source: Profimedia
Although they are both over 40 and their best years are behind them, they still perform well in the ring and are clearly not thinking about hanging up the gloves yet. But probably no one expected that two legends, who are also good friends, would sometimes face each other in the ring. But then the organization Bare Knuckle FC, which organizes fights in boxing without gloves, appeared on the scene and managed to get both fighters into their ranks.
Buakaw has already made his debut, finishing Turkish kickboxer Erkan Varol in the first round. Although Saenchai has not yet wrestled in BKFC, he has extensive experience fighting without gloves from Kard Chuek – Thai boxing, where fighters wrap their hands with ropes instead of gloves. On the side of Saenchai will be speed and variety of techniques, while Buakaw will be the tougher one.
“We’re professionals. And even though we’re friends, it would be a shame for Thai boxing if we didn’t fight to the full. It’s not the first time I’ve fought a friend. I had five fights with Authachai. We became good friends and after the second fight he called us promoter to rematch. We ended up fighting three more times.” explains Saenchai, who considers wrestling his job and has openly admitted that he couldn’t believe the payday he was getting to fight Buakaw.