13-Year-Old Dies After Getting Knocked Out In Thai Kickboxing Match
A 13-year-old fighter has died after being knocked out in a Thai boxing match.
Anucho Thasako suffered a brain haemorrhage two days after competing in a charity bout and died, reports the BBC.
According to local media, he had been knocked out during a bout in Phra Pradaeng district in Samut Prakan province on Saturday night.
The young teenager had taken part in 170 fights to help raise money for his family since being 8 years old, it was reported.
His tragic death has led to fresh calls for children to be banned from fighting and the Thai parliament has said it is now reviewing legislation that would stop children under the age of 12 from competing in boxing matches, which are incredibly popular in the country.
But there are few rules governing the sport and some people oppose proposed laws to protect young fighters, saying they are part of the country's boxing tradition.
According to the BBC, footage of the match showed that the youngster, known by his boxing name Phetmongkol Por Peenapat, and his opponent were not wearing any protective headgear.
Anucha was repeatedly punched in the head, then fell to the mat.
Quoting his uncle, trainer, and guardian, Damrong Thasako, newspaper Thai Rath siad: "I want to see a law that requires under-15 boxers to wear protective gear in the fight."
While some on social media have asked why the referee had not stopped the bout earlier.
Anucha's opponent, who is just 14 said he's very sad but didn't mean to take another life and plans to auction the shorts he wore for the fight to raise money for Anucha's family.
Chatchai Im-arom, a doctor at the Child Safety Promotion and Injury Prevention Research Centre of Ramathibodi Hospital, is supporting a reduction in the age of children fighting in the ring.
Children under 15 were more vulnerable to brain injury from hits to the head, he told Thai PBS during a forum to promote safety on Sunday.
If successful, the draft bill would set the minimum fight age to 12 years old and also regulate the participation of young teenagers.
This isn't far enough for other campaigners however, who want it raised to 18 and say change is being delayed because child boxing is so lucrative.
Gen Adulyadej Inthapong, vice chairman of the National Legislative Assembly's committee on sports, told Reuters: "Those aged 12 to 15 will need to be registered, have the permission of their parents and wear protective gear for professional fights."
According to reports, The Professional Boxing Association of Thailand wants the age for participation in organised bouts set at 10.
This is the second tragic death in a matter of weeks, after Italian boxer Christian Daghio passed away recently.
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