Punching out of poverty: Despite risks, 9-year-old Thai fighter eager to return to ring

Punching out of poverty: Despite risks, 9-year-old Thai fighter eager to return to ring


BANGKOK – Nine-year-old Thai kickboxer Pornpattara “Tata” Peachaurai is eager to get back in the ring after coronavirus curbs brought his fight season to a halt more than five months ago. The money he earns is vital income for his family.

“All the money from boxing, the regular payment and the tips, it all goes to mum,” said the lean young fighter.

“I’m proud to be a boxer and to earn money for my mum.”

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Tata’s last fight was in October, before a second COVID-19 outbreak in Thailand shut down sports events as bans on large gatherings were reimposed.

“I cannot box. I haven’t practiced boxing, too … I help my mum sell things.”

Tata lives with his mother and 16-year-old sister, Poomrapee, who is also a boxer with the national youth team.

The family is banking on Tata’s earnings as a way out of poverty and hopes he can make it as a professional Muay Thai fighter, or

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