Strange things are afoot at the K-1. This past Saturday Buakaw Banchamek fought Enriko Kehl for the K-1 World Max title in Pattaya, Thailand. Everything was pretty normal during the fight. A couple of dudes in shiny shorts threw some punches, some knees, some kicks, and some throws. You know, normal kickboxing stuff.
At the beginning of round one Kehl came out with guns blazing making it apparent that he did not want to get overwhelmed by Banchamek. As most of you know Banchamek, like most Thai nak muays, starts pretty slow and Kehl tried to use this to his advantage. However it didn’t take long for Buakaw to figure out Kehl’s timing begin to land those Thai style power shots that he is famous for. I am a huge Buakaw fan and like to see my dude win, but even without my bias toward him I had him ahead on the score cards after the third round. Under K-1 rules if a winner cannot be decided upon by the judges the fight is considered a draw and goes to an extra round. This is what happened on Saturday. This is also where things got strange.
Before it was even announced that there would be an extra round, Buakaw and his camp were nowhere in sight, and after the announcement was made that there would be an extra round the announcer said that Banchamek and his camp had left the building. No extra round, and Enriko Kehl was crowned the new K-1 Max 2014 champ. As of today no official statement has been released from Buakaw or his camp, but K-1 put out this statement regarding Saturday’s event. So far there has been speculation about issues with gambling, fight fixing, and legal issues with K-1, but nothing has been confirmed by either side. This whole thing stinks of moldy tangerines, because both men are talented fighters and things like this are very bad for the sport. Watch the fight for yourself, after all it was a good fight. I hope they get to the bottom of this soon.