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Thai Kid Boxers
     Taylor Weidman/ZUMA (bios)
In Thailand, children as young as five earn cash by taking part in a version of boxing which uses elbows, knees and feet, as well as fists. The basic objective is to knock out your opponent. It is fight night in Chang Mai, and spectators have come for the 'Superkids Championship'. Petchfogus 'Focus' Sitthaharnaek, 9, is the top fighter for his age and weight. He has begun fighting older, heavier opponents to continue to improve his skills. Fighters are typically paid 1000 baht ($30) per fight. This style of fighting, known as 'muay thai' has been practiced as an art form and fighting technique in Thailand since the 12th century. Child boxing has brought Thailand disapproval from medical experts and human rights activists, who see it as dangerous and want it banned. For many people in northern Thailand, child boxing is a way of life. It provides income to families that would otherwise have to rely on their rice paddies and farming. In a place where drugs and gangs are rampant, boxing provides a way out of poverty for some children with few options.
Thai Kid Boxers
     Taylor Weidman/ZUMA (bios)
In Thailand, children as young as five earn cash by taking part in a version of boxing which uses elbows, knees and feet, as well as fists. The basic objective is to knock out your opponent. It is fight night in Chang Mai, and spectators have come for the 'Superkids Championship'. Petchfogus 'Focus' Sitthaharnaek, 9, is the top fighter for his age and weight. He has begun fighting older, heavier opponents to continue to improve his skills. Fighters are typically paid 1000 baht ($30) per fight. This style of fighting, known as 'muay thai' has been practiced as an art form and fighting technique in Thailand since the 12th century. Child boxing has brought Thailand disapproval from medical experts and human rights activists, who see it as dangerous and want it banned. For many people in northern Thailand, child boxing is a way of life. It provides income to families that would otherwise have to rely on their rice paddies and farming. In a place where drugs and gangs are rampant, boxing provides a way out of poverty for some children with few options.