BKFC Asia CEO Details struggles behind booking a fight between Lethwei Legend Dave Leduc and Buakaw Banchamek

Dave Leduc

Dave Leduc, a six-time Lethwei world champion, has long called for a clash with Muay Thai icon Buakaw Banchamek.

It’s a fight that fans of the two sports would undoubtedly love to see, but BKFC Asia CEO Nick Chapman believes there are far too many political obstacles to make it happen. Speaking with John Hyon Ko of The AllStar, Chapman says that you can never say never, but he has little confidence that anyone could make that fight a reality, including himself.

“Personally as a fan, I love the fight,” Chapman said. “I think it’s great. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see that fight? But I do know without going too much into detail that there are some political reasons as to why that fight could most likely never happen. Even I don’t think I could make that fight happen and I don’t have any limitations in my mind, but there are political reasons way above anything that we control that will prevent that fight from happening which is a shame, but let’s never say never.

“If anyone can, I can, but it’s a very tricky situation, that one. Dave Leduc’s pretty outspoken and he said some things about some people. It’s completely irrelevant to me. Makes no difference to me. I like the way he promotes himself, but it’s been perceived as very disrespectful to a certain group of people in Thailand who have a massive amount of influence over Buakaw.”

Dave Leduc is Banned From Entering Thailand

On April 28, 2021, Leduc stirred controversy with a profanity-laced social media post saying that Muay Thai was nothing more than a “softened version of Burmese boxing.” He also criticized Buakaw Banchamek and stated that claims surrounding the Nai Khanom Tom folklore story were false and that he was simply a prisoner in ancient Burma during the Burmese–Siamese War.

The post sparked a considerable amount of backlash from the Muay Thai community.

Leduc doubled down on his statement later calling the Muay Thai folklore figure Nai Khanom Tom a “bitch, after getting captured by the Burmese.” referring to Siamese prisoners captured by Burmese troops during the war.

As a result, the Ministry of Culture banned Leduc from entering Thailand in May 2021.

Despite all of that, Chapman still believes there is a small chance that Buakaw vs. Leduc could come to fruition, so long as the numbers justify looking past the Lethwei star’s past transgressions.

“It’s all about numbers,” he added. “If we can see the numbers and people want to see the fight, we’ll see what we can do.”

Dave Leduc recently announced his retirement after his victory against Prom Somnang in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Maybe BKFC and Nick Chapman can convince Dave to reconsider his decision.