Manny Pacquiao vs Muay Thai Legend?Written by Lee Cleveland
According to The Bangkok Post, a few Thai boxing promoters are seemingly trying to lure boxing sensation Manny Pacquiao into a bout with Muay Thai legend Buakow Por Pramuk in this year's annual boxing event to celebrate the King of Thailand's 85th birthday.
His Majesty's 85th birthday falls on December 5th.
"No matter how much [money] Pacquiao demands this fight, we will make it happen," said Mr Somchai, one of the originators of the proposal which supposedly backed by the Sports Writers Association of Thailand and boxing promoter Narongwas Buamas.
Allegedly, Mr Somchai said contracts will be signed on Thursday in Manila.
However, this is seemingly impossible because Manny Pacquiao has a superfight with Juan Manuel Marquez on December 8 and 13,000 tickets have already been sold for that bout.
Therefore, its not yet known how legit any of these claims are and there's no word if this proposed fight would take place under boxing rules or those of Muay Thai.
Who is Buakow Por Pramuk?
Buakaw Banchamek, whose ring name is Buakaw Por Pramuk, is a 30 year old Thai welterweight and Muay Thai kickboxer who is a three-time K-1 World MAX champion, 2004-06.
With a record that's purportedly 205-21-12 with 53 knockouts, Pramuk has won numerous Muay Thai tournaments, in addition to K-1-sponsored events, from 2001 to 2011.
Slightly larger than Manny Pacquiao, the Thai fighter stands at 5'8 1/2" and usually weights about 153 lbs, and would be a jr middleweight by professional boxing standards.
Perhaps Pramuk's handlers aren't serious about their man fighting Pacquiao and used the Filipino slugger's name in an attempt to draw more attention to their fighter?
Its been rumored Pramuk has been training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and may soon launch career in MMA. If that's the case, this article is exactly what they want.
Boxing vs Muay Thai
While the requests of a few Thai promoters will likely go unanswered by Team Pacquiao, it raises an interesting question: Given the striking nature of boxing and Muay Thai, could a top boxer defeat a top Muay Thai fighter... in Muay Thai?
It's certainly not far-fetched to see how a boxer with Pacquiao's speed, footwork and explosiveness could defeat his peer in Muay Thai.
But some in MMA would argue that because Muay Thai incorporates strikes such as elbows, kicks and knees (in addition to punching) the practitioners of that art form have more weapons at their disposal. However, because its so offense-heavy, there are more openings as Muay Thai fighters find themselves in more vulnerable positions more often that their fellow pugilistic combatants.
And against seasoned boxers, even welterweights like Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana, who are adept at finding openings, one shot that lands cleanly in the right spot may be one too many for an opponent.
We saw what happened to Victor Ortiz when he left himself exposed against Floyd Mayweather and Josesito Lopez.
But Muay Thai fighters can also inflict tremendous damage when clutching an opponent's neck in a clinch. Would a top boxer be able to deal with the inside clinching and knees of a Muay Thai fighter? Would a top boxer, knowing his opponent is a Muay Thai expert, even allow himself to be caught in such a position?
Advocates for boxing would argue that pugilists engage in a far more cerebral, more advanced form of striking which offsets and perhaps supersedes any advantages a Muay Thai fighter would have by utilizing more offensive weapons. As a result, because boxers are punch-specialists, they will undoubtedly be more effective with their punching, especially when landing flush.
In addition, boxers' superior movement and footwork, timing (as it relates to punching and defending punches and anticipation) and superior ability to block an opponent's punch strikes may give the boxer advantages so long as the Muay Thai fighter isn't unleashing kicks from long range.
So who would have the advantage? Perhaps its a matter of padding instead of number of weapons and vulnerabilities.
In such a bout, boxer vs Muay Thai fighter in Muay Thai, the rules would give the Muay Thai fighter an unfair advantage unless the combatants fought bare-fisted or with MMA gloves.
Muay Thai fighters can strike with "unpadded" feet, knees and elbows while a boxer's primary strikes (conventional punching) are padded as a result of the 8 or 10oz gloves they use. The padding not only enables a fighter to absorb of a boxer's punch a little better (as opposed to being hit bare-fisted), the weight of the gloves slightly slows the boxer when executing his primary offensive - punching.
Anyone who has sparred a round or two with 10oz gloves before dawning a pair of 8oz gloves can tell the difference right away.
If Muay Thai fighters want to fight boxers in Muay Thai, the bout should be contested bare-fisted or with MMA gloves. Forcing a boxer to wear conventional boxing or Muay Thai gloves would put him at a disadvantage because the padded gloves would be a detriment against an opponent who will undoubtedly and primarily be using "unpadded and unweighted" weapons against a pugilist.
Imagine being cracked by a bare-fisted Pacquiao?
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.