Child boxer dies after fight

Child boxer dies after fight

Boxer Phetmongkol Por Peenapat, aged 13 years, who died after he was knocked out in the ring on Monday night. (Photo from มวยไทย ครบวงจร Facebook account)
Boxer Phetmongkol Por Peenapat, aged 13 years, who died after he was knocked out in the ring on Monday night. (Photo from มวยไทย ครบวงจร Facebook account)

A 13-year-old boy has died after suffering a brain haemorrhage during a Muay Thai fight on Monday night.

The Muay Thai Krob Wong Jorn Facebook account posted a message on Monday expressing condolences to the family of boxer Phetmongkol Por Peenapat.

He suffered bleeding in the brain when knocked out by Famai Sor Phranakhon during a bout in Phra Pradaeng district in Samut Prakan province on Saturday night.

"Rest in peace, my little brother," the announcement said.

The account did not give details of the boy, but another account in the name of Jit Bungkan said he was aged 13 years. The boy studied in Mathayom 1 at Wat Samutkit Witthayakhom Scool in Phra Samut Chedi district of Samut Prakan, the post said. (continues below)

He was knocked out in the third round, one comment said on Muay Thai Krob Wong Jorn, adding that the referee should have stopped the bout earlier as the boy showed signs of being unable to defend himself from his opponent's onslaught.

The unconscious boy was taken to hospital, where he died. His body was later sent for autopsy at the Institute of Forensic Medicine at Police General Hospital.

His family received the boy's body on Tuesday for religious rites at Wat Mai Bang Plakod in Phra Samut Chedi. They were not intending to take legal action against the organisers of the event, because their son died while participating in a sport, Thairath online reported.

His death comes amid calls to set an age limit for child boxers. There is currently no limit. An amendment to the Boxing Act, which would set the minimum age for entering the ring at 12 years, is now in the National Legislative Assembly with backing from child rights advocates and the Thai Health Promotion Foundation.

Representatives of boxing attendants on Monday opposed the proposed change on grounds the amendment went to the NLA without seeking comments from them, and that allowing children to box helped keep them out of trouble at school and at home.

Chatchai Im-arom, a doctor at the Child Safety Promotion and Injury Prevention Research Centre of Ramathibodi Hospital, supported an age curb on 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.

"Children suffering brain injuries will have problems when they grow up," Dr Chatchai added. "As adults, we have a duty to protect them." 

Children should still be allowed to practice Muay Thai, as it  is a part of Thai culture, but there should be a minimum age for those fighting in the ring, he said.

Boxer Phetmongkol Por Peenapat, who died on Monday, started training when he was in Prathom 2, according to Jit Bungkan. He would then have been about 8 years old.

Jit Bunkan did not say when the boy first started fighting in the ring, but wrote: "He got every baht by putting his life on the line."


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