Monday, February 5, 2007


TOKYO, February 5, 2007 – Appearing in his K-1 debut, Murat Direkci needed just 87 seconds to defeat former World Max Champion Albert Kraus in a Superfight; while Yoshihiro Sato captured the Tournament Championship Belt at the K-1 World Max 2007 Japan. Held at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo's seaside district of Odaiba, the event kicked off the '07 World Max season with an abundance of thrilling bouts and a couple of stunning upsets.

Two-time and Defending World Max Champion Buakaw Por Pramuk used his preternatural power and prowess with both kicks and punches to earn a convincing KO win over shoot boxer Andy Souwer in the final last June. Tonight, the Thai wunderkind stepped in for a Superfight against Tsogto "Shinobu" Amara, a Mongolian kickboxer and karate stylist making his K-1 debut.

Buakaw took his time here, tenderizing Amara with occasional low kicks and straight punches through the first, while coolly dodging just about everything that came his way. In the second Buakaw mixed up the low and high kicks, and Amara responded to a Buakaw knee to the midsection by turning away in pain, which cost the Mongolian a standing count. Buakaw worked a full array of attacks in the third, cocking his opponent's head hard with a left hook, then dropping his guard late and inviting Amara to try and hit him -- the failed attempts further fueling the Mongolian fighter's frustration. There are few who come close to Buakaw in the ring, and it was clear here that Amara is not yet one of them. A comfortable unanimous decision.

"This was like a practice fight for me," said Buakaw, "so I dropped my guard and had some fun. My goal this year is to defend my title, and I know that fighters like Masato and Souwer will be coming after me, so I'll have to do my best."

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