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Virus KOs Thailand’s boxing industry, freezing dreams of world domination

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Since first arriving early last year, Covid-19 has pummelled every industry in Thailand – including boxing. Virus KOs Thailand’s boxing industry, freezing dreams of world domination

Since first arriving early last year, Covid-19 has pummelled every industry in Thailand – including boxing.

In April 2020, a fight night at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium spawned an infection cluster that spread across the country.

The outbreak was quickly halted but the boxing industry has still not recovered.

Boxing camps remain closed and many have gone bankrupt.

The virus crisis has brought the sport to a halt, freezing the dreams of Thailand’s best young boxers.

Taweesin Laosuwanwat, TL Boxing Promotion’s promoter
“Hello, my name is Taweesin Laosuwanwat. I am a promoter for TL Boxing Promotion.”

⁠“TL Boxing Promotion arranged boxing matches in March 2020, just before the Lumpinee cluster was detected and the first national lockdown was announced. Last year, the Covid-19 crisis was very new for everyone. We did not know when it would end. All our company could do was to control expenses to survive, as well as help our boxers.”

⁠“If asked to compare the current outbreak to the first two outbreaks, I would say it is different. During the first and second outbreaks, people still had hope thanks to their savings and assets they could sell. However, in the current outbreak, I might be able to get through it but the boxers will not. As you know, boxers in Thailand receive no income when they are not fighting.”

Looksaikongdin Gym in Bangkok is closed under restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19.

The star at this camp is a teenager named Phubadin Yuhanngor, aka Saeng Arthit Looksaikongdin Gym.

The 17-year-old phenomenon is ranked world No 15 by the World Boxing Association.

Last year, he was seeking matches with big-name international fighters in a bid to move up the rankings. However, Covid-19 has frozen his dream of becoming a world champion since no fights are available during the pandemic.

Phubadin Yuhanngor, boxer
“Covid-19 has affected the whole industry. There are no matches for me, even behind closed doors. As boxers, our main revenue comes from fights. So, this is a nightmare. I am still a student, so having no income means I have no money for tuition fees.”

Published : July 10, 2021

By : The Nation