The dangers of Muay Thai are well known at this point but it never makes news like this any less tragic. The death of a 13-year-old Muay Thai fighter has shaken the Thai boxing community…
Anucha Tasako, like many other young boys in Thailand, had been fighting since a very early age in the country’s traditional sport. Muay Thai is one of the very few ways to earn a living in the lower part of Thailand’s socio-economic state.
Since the age of just eight, Anucha had been training and competing in Thai boxing. Fighting for money for his household and to pay for his schooling, the young boy fought, on average, every 11 days in his local province of Samut Praka.
Unfortunately, his fight on Saturday would prove to be the last. Competing in his 170th fight, Tasako fought without headgear against his opponent and suffered a knockout loss. The video has surfaced online but out of respect, we will not be showing it.
Rushed To Local Hospital
Taskao suffered a brain hemorrhage and soon after died as a result of the injuries he sustained. Speaking with AP, a lawyer who represents numerous Muay Thai camps in Thailand defended the tradition:
“This has never happened before and it’s unprecedented,” Sukrit Parekrithawet, a lawyer who represents a number of boxing training camps, was quoted as saying by AP.
“There are several factors involved which have nothing to do with age. The referee wasn’t quick enough to stop the fight and the venue didn’t have a doctor on standby, which shouldn’t happen.”
This tragedy comes at a time when the proposed changes to the existing legislation could potentially impose dramatic limitations on youth boxing in Thailand. The current legislation from 1999 sees no lower age limit and no mandatory requirement to wear protective headgear.
The lawyer Sukrit says he is not keen on these possible upcoming changes:
“This would have a major impact on the industry,” Sukrit added. “Those who drafted the law do not know anything about the sport of Thai boxing, and this would make Muay Thai become extinct.”
“If you don’t allow younger players to learn their way up, how can they be strong and experienced enough to fight?” he said. “We call it ‘boxing bones.’ You need to have boxing bones built from a very young age.”
Another life lost to combat, another mother loses her child. There’s only one way to greatness in a sport so dangerous, and that’s to start early. A similar situation happened in England earlier this year.
A 14-year-old Muay Thai champion collapsed following a contest and never woke up. Today we offer our prayers and condolences to the family of Anucha Tasako, rest in peace young warrior.