One of the many adversities that befall those who are poor is that they get tempted to take risks with their own lives and the lives of their families just in order to survive, such as selling their organs and committing crimes. I was shocked to read this report about Anucha Thasako, a 13-year old Thai boy, who died of a brain hemorrhage after a boxing bout. It was bad enough that children are boxing at all but it appears that it is a way for poor people to earn money. Thasako had fought in 170 bouts since the age of eight.
Thai boxing, or Muay Thai as it is also called, is hugely popular in the country, where thousands of young fighters and their families see it as a way of earning money.
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.
Video of the match showed the boy, known by his boxing name Phetmongkol Por Peenapat, and his opponent were not wearing any protective headgear.
Anucha was repeatedly punched in the head, before falling to the mat.
Thailand has more than 10,000 registered boxers under the age of 15, according to figures released last year by its national Sports Authority.
A draft law before parliament would ban children under 12 from professional kickboxing matches, and regulate the participation of young teenagers.
That draft law does not go anywhere near far enough. Boxing is a barbaric activity but you cannot stop adults from risking their brains and their lives. But it should definitely be banned for children and young adults, just like football should be in the US. Passing laws banning it will not of course solve the underlying problem of poverty but it may prevent poor people from being tempted to enroll their children in it. When things are legal, people tend to think it is safe.