The country of Thailand is mourning the death of Anucha Thasako, a 13-year old boxer. He died as a result of brain hemorrhage, two after he fought in a charity match.

Anucha death has put tremendous pressure on Thailand to ban young children from participating in boxing matches. While the Thai parliament is working to get an order passed, many Thais are opposing the move. They believe young boxers help continue the age-old boxing tradition of Thailand.

Anucha has been taking part in fights since the age of eight to support his family. He had participated in 170 fights. Muay Thai, the popular form of boxing in Thailand, sees many such children participating in the sport to raise money for their families. They are very few rules supervising the sport, putting the lives of these young children at jeopardy.

Anucha’s death has caused national mourning. Several eminent boxing stars have also sent their tributes for him.

What happened to the boxer boy from Thailand?

Thais have been circulating a video of the fateful fight in central Samut Prakan province that caused Anucha’s demise. The video reveals both Anucha and his 14-year old opponent were not wearing proper boxing gear. He was repeatedly punched in the head by his opponent. Eventually he collapsed on the mat.

There have been speculations over why the referee failed to intervene. Anucha’s uncle and trainer Damrong Thasako said “I want to see a law that requires under-15 boxers to wear protective gear in the fight.”

Anucha used Phetmongkol Por Peenapat as his boxing name. His opponent has expressed deep sorrow over the entire incident, adding that he didn’t mean to kill Anucha. He plans to auction the shorts he wore for the match to raise money for Anucha’s family.

Many Thais have demanded that the minimum age of participation be increased to 18. However, the Professional Boxing Association of Thailand wants the same to be set to 10.