Debate about whether children should be allowed to fight in boxing matches has been reignited after the death of a 13-year-old.
Anucha Kochana was knocked out during a match on Sunday evening in Bangkok and on Monday has was pronounced dead after suffering a brain haemorrhage.
Few rules manage matches of Thai Boxing, also known as Muay Thai, meaning children of any age can take part. Anucha first entered the ring when he was just eight-years-old and had since fought 170 matches.
Footage of Auncha’s final fight was posted to social media, where the teenager can be seen in the ring without any protective gear. He was punched repeatedly in the head before falling to his feet, his head colliding with the mat below.
The 13-year-old’s family have told media they will not press charges over his death.
Muay Thai boxing is very popular among boys and men in Thailand, as it carries the promise of success and glory. A major part of the appeal is the money made from the sport, especially for fighters and their families who live in poverty.
Law makers in Thailand have already been looking to place age restrictions on the sport, banning anyone younger than 12 from participating in professional events.
Anucha’s death adds another reason for this move, however, many in the boxing community oppose it.
Somchart Charoenwatcharawit is the president of the Professional Boxing Association of Thailand and is one person opposed to the age restrictions. He told Reuters the proposed changes would hurt the livelihood of an estimated 300,000 child boxers under the age of 15.
“The new rule … will hurt the children and their parents who earn tens of thousands of baht from boxing in what is a national sport,” Somchart said.
If there must be an age ban, the Association believes it should only apply to children 10 years and under.
Source: 10 daily News.