It has been allowed to resume the business since the Coronavirus restriction relaxation in Phase 4 starting from mid last month, but it was not until July 4 that Thai boxing or Muay Thai returned to the ring for the first time after taking a months-long break following the state restrictions.
Blamed for the first wave of the spread of the Coronavirus or Covid-19 in early March, this traditional profession of Muay Thai has been placed in a great caution by concerned parties for the fact that the sport by nature brings boxers to much close contact, _and the height of the fights that prompt its spectators lose control.
That brings much pain to fighters and their staff too. According to the Sports Authority of Thailand, as of mid June when the sport was allowed to resume, almost 7,000 people in the business had registered to receive state support. Out of these were more than 4, 200 boxers.
But as measures to help ensure social distancing and disease control against the virus have been figured out, Muay Thai and those fighters therefore have managed to find their way back to the boxing ring.
Under the “New Normal” fights, the first and foremost rule is the fights will be organised in quite a closed system. That means, none of spectators are allowed, but only certain groups of people; be they broadcast crews, boxing staff, trainers, commentators, referees, and of course boxers!
Boxers themselves will be required to get their health checked and be under quarantine for 14 days before taking the fights. At a stadium where the fights take place, they and their staff must protect themselves and others with protective gears including face masks all the time. Boxers can remove their masks only when they are in the fights.
Despite all complications, every one seems to be well cooperating so that they can get back to their near normal lives again_although that means they will fight alone in the almost empty arena and can not hear loud noises from their cheering fans.
A documentary photographer residing in Bangkok, Thailand. Diverse and vibrant, his images capture everyday people living alongside the challenges of development, climate change and social changes in the Mekong region.