Yesterday, French Muay Thai boxer Anthony Durand announced his resignation from the sport following the death of his opponent Phanphet Phadungchai. Phanphet suffered a brain haemorrhage after being knocked out by Anthony during a fight on July 15. The 25 year old boxer entered a state of brain death following the injury and received life support for nine days before sadly passing away on Saturday night.
Phanphet and “Anthony TFC” went head to head at the Thupatemi Air Force boxing stadium in Pathum Thani province, central Thailand, on July 15. In the fifth round, with just one minute and 18 seconds left of the match, Anthony knocked out Phanphet with an elbow to the jaw. Phanphet was rushed to B Care Hospital straight away, but the doctors said he had entered an irreversible state of brain death. Phanphet fought for his life with the help of breathing apparatus for nine days before losing his fight on Saturday night.
Anthony announced his resignation from Muay Thai boxing on Facebook yesterday [auto-translated from French]…
“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… 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. 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.”
Phanphet’s Father Khem Khlinming said he is so proud that his son did the best he could. Khem said he was his son’s first ever Muay Thai teacher and that Phanphet had loved the sport since he was a child. Khem is proud of the name his son built for himself. Khem said he would like to thank Anthony for his offer to help his family.
Phanphet’s death comes as a great loss to both his family and to Muay Thai fans across the nation. Phanphet previously competed for Thailand’s national team and won a silver medal at the 2019 SEA games in the Philippines.