Prison Fight is a charity event that takes place at different prisons of Thailand
The ultimate aim is to promote sport among prisoners and to help them quit taking drugs for better social adaptation in the future.
The tradition of holding the boxing tournaments in prisons started in 1767 when after the downfall of Ayutaya thousands of Thai soldiers were taken prisoner.
In 1774 the King Mangara (King Hsinbyushin) gave a festival in honor of Buddha. Among various amusements there were the boxing tournaments of Burmese boxing (Burmese Lethwei) and Muay Boran. The best Thai boxers among war prisoners had to fight vs. Burmese boxing champions.
Nai Khanomtom practicing Muay Thai was challenged to fight against the Burmese champion. After performing the ritual dance that was considered by Burmese people as black magic Nai Khanomtom gained unconditional victory. But the victory was declared invalid. To prove his mastery he was offered to combat with 9 Burmese fighters. Nai Khanomtom won again and astonished the King who granted him freedom with gifts and honors afterwards.
In the modern Thailand the heritage of Nai Khanomtom reveals itself in the tradition to conduct a tournament at correction facilities. According to the Thai law there is a chance to be amnestied having the great sport achievements, in particular for a title of the Champion of the World.
The charity event is carried on with the assistance of Department Of Corrections. This old tradition of prison fights goes back to the times of the foundation of Thai boxing. Prison fight assists the prison and prisoners the following way:
- Provides them with sport equipment
- Financially motivates domestic tournament winners
- Helps with arranging and conducting tournaments
The first event took place on January 6, 2013 at Pak Chong Prison with guest boxers from France, Africa, Burma and Thailand. The main fighter of the event was a two world champion Sirimongkol Singwangcha serving 20-years sentence for drug traffic. During his serving time he took a challenge to change his life and won a victory in several professional tournaments. In case of his unconditional victory and possessing the title of the Champion of the World he has the great chance to be amnestied.