Good news for Muay Thai as ministry lifts barriers
Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn has given the green light to Muay Thai fights to be held around the country and in any kind of venues, a boxing promoter said on Tuesday.
"It's good news although I haven't seen the official document yet," said Nuttadej Vachirarattanawong, managing director of Petchyindee Muay Thai Academy.
On Monday, Nuttadej led a protest by scores of people in Muay Thai, who included promoters, gym owners and boxers, outside the Tourism and Sports Ministry.
They demanded the government allow competitons of the sport to be held freely around the country.
The government's Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) had allowed Muay Thai fights to be organised at standard stadiums with a limited number of spectators.
"We only want opportunities to stage Muay Thai events," Nuttadej said yesterday.
"Now they will have some earnings although it is unlikely that things will return to normalcy this year."
He said parties involved were ready to act according to the CCSA's guidelines and restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Former three-weight world champion Akira Yaegashi announced on Tuesday he is retiring after 15 years as a professional boxer.
"Although I haven't ever felt the limits of my physical strength, I'm not able to continue as an active boxer all on my own," Yaegashi said during an online press conference.
The 37-year-old Japanese fighter won the WBA minimumweight title in 2011, the WBC flyweight title in 2013 and the IBF light flyweight title in 2015.
He is Japan's third male boxer to have won titles in three different weight classes. bangkok post/kyodo