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The growing prevalence of organized street fighting has prompted Thailand’s top cop to issue a crackdown to stamp out the practice.
Commissioner Sanit Mahathavorn has said that police will find and prosecute anyone organizing boxing matches that are not sanctioned by official bodies, reported Daily News.
After fights appeared online on Youtube he said that police know only that the matches are taking place in the metropolitan area under an expressway somewhere.
He said the matches were illegal according to a law dating back to 1899 forbidding unlicensed boxing.
Organizers could face a year in prison, a fine of 20,000 baht or both.
He pointed out the dangers of injury in “Fight Club” style matches where the only protection for the fighters are thin gloves and teeth guards. He also said that police will look into the possibility that gambling was taking place at the fights.
Reporters understand that matches are taking place somewhere near the Mahanakorn intersection and claim to have seen a sign directing spectators and competitors to the “venue”.
A representative of an organization called “Fight Club Thailand” was quoted as saying that fights are organized online using Facebook. He said that matches are organized according to weight divisions from Size “S” to Size “XXL” with a 5 kilogram weight band between divisions.
He said that the age range of participants has been 16 to 37 years and that many people of varying backgrounds are training for the fights all over the city.
Fights take place every two weeks with referees and medical facilities with photographers taking still shots and others doing video to promote the matches.