Boxing Child by Martin Gros

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Also known as Thai boxing, Muay Thai is considered as the national sport in Thailand. Organized around monetary bet, the winners are rewarded by fame and fortune and successful fighters are being treated like celebrities. Therefore, become a boxer is considered by many young people as a means of social success.

Some children are sent by parents from the rural regions to Bangkok and other major cities to training camps. They hopes that their sons will become good fighters and be able to help the family financially. Originally I didn’t planned to go to a Muay Thai show. But one day I was suddenly trapped by an heavy rain. I was near this stadium and a combat was about to start. I thought it was my best option to stay dry….

In Bangkok, several stadium offers weekly battles. Thais people come to support their champions and bet money while tourists come to discover the spectacular and unique folklore of this discipline. For these kids, becoming a boxing champion is a way to access fame and fortune. Sometimes driven by their parents and supported by coaches they start training at the age of 6 years old. Officially, the age required to enter the competition is 11 years.If some young people fighting for a passion for sport, others are at the heart of a lucrative business for the benefit of coaches, victims of bullying and beatings in case of defeat. [Official Website]

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