Kickboxing champion signs for Thai club

Welterweight champion Buakaw Banchamek has made the move into football, joining the reserve team of Thai Premier League club BEC Tero Sasana FC
Buakaw Banchamek, a kickboxer who won the 2004 and 2006 K-1 World MAX championship has signed with Thai Division 2 club RBAC FC.

Banchamek who is still active as a kickboxer and is set to fight Lee Sung-Hyun in Azerbaijan on February 23 in the semi-finals of the K-1 World MAX 2013 World Championship, made the leap to football after registering as a student at the Rattana Bundit University.

RBAC FC is a Rangsit University affiliated club, and as an undergraduate he is automatically eligible for the team. Club manager Piyanat Rattanapien immediately pounced on the opportunity and signed the 31-year-old assigning him the number 16 jersey.

"I'm a football lover since I was a kid, to be a professional footballer is also my dream," Banchamek said in a press conference.

"When the manager gave me this chance I didn't hesitate at all. After my first training session I have to admit that I still can't adapt well. But I'll try my best."

The welterweight who is renowned for his Muay Thai style of fighting admitted that he did not expect to play often but will sieze every opportunity he gets.

"As a striker, I aimed to score as much as I can," he said.

"I'll give my all every time I get a chance to play. To all defenders, beware my hard approach as I'm a boxer after all."