Saturday, August 13, 2022

Muay Thai Fighter Retires Following Death Of Opponent

A Muay Thai fighter has elected to retire from the sport after his most recent opponent died following a knockout loss.

Anthony Durand and Phanphet Phadungchai met in a Muay Thai bout at Thupatemi Air Force boxing stadium on July 15 in Thailand. The bout was scheduled for 5 rounds, and Durand ended things in the final round when he landed a hard elbow to Phadungchai’s jaw that sent the Thai fighter to the mat.

According to the report from The Sun, Phadungchai was immediately rushed to a hospital in Bangkok after the fight.

The 25-year-old was declared brain dead after doctors established he’d suffered a brain hemorrhage, but Phadungchai managed to survive for another 9 days before passing away in the hospital.

Durand Announces Retirement

The day after the tragedy, Durand made a Facebook post announcing his retirement from Muay Thai competition.

“I’m aware I’m not responsible for what’s happening, but I can’t think ‘It’s the risks, at some point, you have to expect it’,” Durand wrote. “It’s a big shock, maybe he took a lot of blows before that fight.”

The Frenchman went on to thank those that reached out to him following the fight, as well as express his condolences and support for Phadungchai’s family.

Durand (right) announced his retirement from Muay Thai after Phadungchai’s death.

“I faced him for five rounds and it was one of my last shots…So of course I feel responsible and no one can take that out of my head. Even though your messages, calls, and comments are comforting me at the moment, I am deeply sad. It is inexplicable but it’s fate and I have no right to oppose it. I only wish he is resting in peace now and I commit to his mother, wife, and their little girl to contribute financially until they tell me they don’t need it anymore.”

Durand’s bout with Phadungchai was the 28th fight of his Muay Thai career. WBC Muay Thai also made a post on Facebook following the death of Phadunchai, who previously won a silver medal at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

How do you feel about a Muay Thai fighter retiring because he feels responsible for the death of an opponent?

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