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Pattaya Daily News

12 February 2012 :: 12:02:35 pm 62016

Brutal Thai boxing bouts see boys and girls as young as SIX fighting as ‘entertainment’ for tourists

Thai children as young as six are battering each other in brutal boxing matches as entertainment for baying crowds of tourists.
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Boys and girls are risking broken bones and brain damage as they kick, punch and knee each other in the Muay Thai boxing bouts held in bars.

British, American and German holidaymakers are queuing up to see the sickening spectacle which has arrived in the country’s holiday resorts from remote villages.

U.S. film-maker Todd Kellstein, whose movie Buffalo Girls is about two eight-year-old girls who take part in the ‘sport’, described it as ‘horrific’.

‘We are talking about little kids punching and kicking each other for money. The tourists watch the bouts and tip the fighters after they finish,’ he told the Sun.

‘Before I saw my first fight, I was in no way prepared for the brutality that takes place on a daily basis.

‘These kids are small but they are tough and well-trained. The power and accuracy behind their blows is terrifying and what’s really scary is they fight without any kind of headgear or protection.’

Los Angeles-based Kellstein attended 300 fights as part of his research, and said fighters would show ‘no mercy’ and keep attacking even if their opponent was knocked unconscious.

His film focuses on Stam and Pet, both eight, who are also professional Muay Thai prizefighters.

Set in small villages throughout rural Thailand, the film chronicles their journey as they fight in small underground arenas to win prize-money to help provide for their families.

Despite the film being set in rural areas, Kellstein said the barbaric bouts also took place in tourist hotspots.

He said he saw children regularly becoming concussed. And one 11-year-old was kicked so hard in the kidney he dropped to the floor like a rock.

But he said he could not condemn the fights, which first started in rural villages of Thailand. He said they gave children an extra way to earn money for their families.

And he added: ‘In the end I decided it was not my job to judge another country’s culture.’

Report by : Daily Mail

Category : Thailand News

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Rob Valence