In 2014 Buakaw was looking to win his third K-1 World Max tournament.
He made it to the finals against Germany’s Enriko Kehl. The fight between these two was action packed to say the least. Many expected Buakaw to win the tournament with ease, he was riding a 32 fight win streak coming into the final.
Kehl, however, wasn’t going to lie down for Buakaw. He came out looking to fight as he used his hands in effective combinations against Buakaw. The fight was close with both fighters having their moments. Buakaw was able to throw Kehl to the canvas on several occasions. The final round saw some of the best action as both fighters seemed to throw caution to the wind as each looked to gain the upper hand.
The fight ended up going to judges scorecards and it was ruled a draw which meant there was going to be a fourth round to decide the winner. There was one problem though, Buakaw had left the ring and Kehl was the only one ready to go. They gave Buakaw some time to come back to the ring, but he didn’t which was considered a forfeit. This made Kehl the new K-1 World Max tournament champion.
There are a few things that were strange about the ending.
The first thing that was odd was that before the decision had been announced Buakaw was already gone. Several reports were that as soon as the fight was over Buakaw and his team got into a car and drove off. After it was declared a draw K-1 made it seem like they were giving Buakaw time to come back to the ring, this would make one think he was still backstage. If he was long gone why try to stall things, just declare Kehl the winner by foreit.
Now why would Buakaw walk out? According to his camp Buakaw walked out because there was gambling taking place on this fight online, and that K-1 changed the rules at the last minute to put Buakaw at a disadvantage. K-1 as refuted these claims and has condemned Buakaw’s actions. There was in fact bets being taken on the fight and one of the bets would award the person betting money if the fight ended in a loss or draw for Buakaw. K-1 has claimed that the gambling was canceled before the event.
If Buakaw’s claims were true, then why fight? Also why not wait to hear the decision before walking out?
Fans seemed to back Buakaw and it seemed to hurt K-1 for a while. The promotion is now a former shell of what it once was and mainly operates in Japan.
Check out the fight and let us know what you think about what took place in the fight.