Anthony Durand shocked fans after announcing his retirement from Muay Thai boxing. The Muay Thai boxer took the decision after his opponent Phanphet Phadungchai died from a knockout.
Durand and Phadungchai faced each other at the Muay Thai Fighter X event on July 15. The match had taken place at the Thupatemi Air Force boxing stadium in Pathum Thani province, central Thailand. Two players looked in fine touch initially but the tragic event took place in the final round of the clash. A fatal elbow to the jaw in the fifth and final round of the match had sent Phadungchai flying to the ground as his head hit the canvas.
The blow left him unconscious and Phadungchai was rushed to a Bangkok hospital. But it was too late as he was declared brain dead over there. It was eventually understood that the deadly blow had resulted in a brain haemorrhage. Breathing apparatus had kept Phadungchai alive for nine days but eventually, he passed away on Saturday.
Later, Durand announced his retirement on Facebook.
“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. It’s a big shock, maybe he took a lot of blows before that fight,” Durand’s translated Facebook post read.
Durand feels that he is responsible for this tragedy as one of his last shots resulted in the death. He also promised to financially support Phadungchai’s family.
“This was my 28th fight but it was the last. I will not return… Thank you to everyone who has been there since my debut and I am sorry because I know that some people have sacrificed a lot to see me at the top,” he added.
Phadungchai had started boxing at the age of 11. Initially, Phadungchai was trained by his father. He graduated from the Faculty of Physical Education at the Thailand National Sports University. Later, he became a national kickboxer.
Phadungchai had previously played for Thailand national team. Moreover, he has a silver medal to his name 2019 South East Asian (SEA) Games held in the Philippines.