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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

‘I’m Thai!’ Boxing superstar Buakaw declares amid latest Thai-Khmer spat

A Muay Thai fighter has stood up to declare he is indeed Thai amid a widening spat between Thai and Cambodian fans over the sport’s origins.

Sombat Banchamek, aka Buakaw, announced publicly this week that, even though he belongs to an indigenous ethnic group called the Kuy, he is of Thai nationality and not Cambodian as some have claimed.

“Be proud of Thailand that we have Muay Thai … It is the wisdom invented by Thai ancestors,” Buakaw wrote on social media last night alongside a few very welcome shirtless photos. 

“Do not forget that it’s our national sport that’s accepted by people around the world. Let’s help conserve it.”

Why this sudden need to stress the “Thai” in Muay Thai? 

Khmer and Thai sport authorities are currently battling over the sport’s identity. Cambodia has said that when it hosts the SEA Games in May, they will…

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