A 13-year-old boy was killed during a charity Thai boxing (muay thai) match near Bangkok, police said on Wednesday, as a bill in the country to ban fighting by children is under consideration.
Anucha Tasako died of a brain hemorrhage after receiving several blows to the head on November 10 in Samut Prakan province, police said.
The teenager, who used the pseudonym Phetmongkol Sor Wilaithong, had been fighting since the age of eight and had participated in more than 150 fights, according to local press.
“I’m sorry” for this drama, his rival Nitikron Sonde wrote on his Facebook page. “But I have to do everything I can to earn and get enough money to pay for my studies,” he added.
“I’m not angry with the referee or the other boy,” Aphichati Wannaphakdi, the deceased’s uncle, told AFP this Wednesday on the second day of the funeral. “This happens in sport,” he added.
None of the teenagers wore helmets.
Health professionals consider the practice of this violent sport dangerous among children, who are exposed to brain injuries.
The authorities are trying to adopt a bill that prohibits Thai boxing matches between those under 12 years of age.
The number two of the Thai board, Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, commissioned his sports counterpart to “study the feasibility” of this ban, a Defense Ministry spokesman said in a statement on Wednesday.
But there are Thai boxing personalities who oppose the bill, arguing that it is contrary to tradition and that it would financially affect the families of young boxers, who are generally very poor.
“99% of the most famous Thai boxers, who won medals at the Olympic Games, started fighting when they were children,” Tawee Umpornmaha, 59, silver at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, told AFP.
“The question is to know if we have the appropriate security measures,” added this former boxer who started at age 12 and participated in more than 200 fights throughout his career.
The images of the combat, disseminated by local media, provoked anger on social networks. He can barely stand. Why didn’t the referee stop the match “earlier, lamented a Facebook user. AP