Little Muay boxer's champion dream

09:46, November 09, 2009      

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Chatploy S. Boonsawat stands on the boxing ring in Bangkok, capital of Thailand, Oct. 20, 2009."I want to be a national champion of the Muay Thai (Thai traditional boxing)!" Chatploy S. Boonsawat told the reporter.

"I take him here to practise Muay Thai after his class from Monday to Friday," his father Pisut S. Boonsawat said. Each training, Chatploy's obligatory courses are including 3,000-meter running, 1,000 high kickings, 500 swing blows and 100 situps. Chatploy's father Pisut used to be a Muay Thai boxer. He contracted the boxing ring after the retirement and a few years' fruits business. He hired two retired boxers to train young men for Muay Thai in the community. At the age of six, Chatploy told his father that he wanted to try Muay Thai.

"At first, I'm afraid that he might be hurt. But when I saw his sincerity, I decided to let him have a try. I never expected him to win a champion." Pisut said. Pisut indeed had an expectation to his son when he took an English nickname for his son, "First". However, the frequent training and competition have damaged the physical development of Chatploy, as he looks lower than children at the same age. Sports medicine expert said that excessive practising of Muay Thai will lead to a slow physical development of children, and even affect their brain and memory. The main reason for Thai youth to practise Muay Thai is to build physical fitness and keep away from drugs.

But now most of young Thai boxers fight just for money, because of the poverty. Young Chatploy now has earned some reputation. He plays once a month. He can earn 3,000 Thai Baht (about 90 U.S. dollars) if he wins. From the beginning of his participation to the present, Chatploy has earned 50,000 Thai Baht (about 1,500 U.S. dollars) in all. "I will keep on fighting, and earn money for my education." Chatploy said so when he talked about the future.Child Watch Project researcher Sombart Rittidej told reporter that there are about 20,000 children who are under 15-year-old take part in the Muay Thai competition.

In rural area, the reward for each game is about 500 Thai Baht (about 15 U.S. dollars), while in urban areas, the reward is about 1,000 Thai Baht (about 30 U.S. dollars).Thailand's Muay Thai Law allows children under 15-year-old take part in the Muay Thai competition, but restricts they can not have the same rights as the formal boxers. That means if Chatploy injuries, he just suffers alone. "Only when law is consummated and economy is developed, the problem that many poor children are engaged in the Muay Thai competition could be solved. It will take seven to ten years."Sombart said.
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