Thursday, March 22, 2007


Many of the farang males in Thailand are well into Muay Thai – kickboxing. Local foreign residents go along to the various kickboxing venues in Pattaya to watch Thai guys beating the living daylights out of each other, but if you were to go to Bangkok there’s an attraction of a new kind –ladies beating hell out of each other.

Not ordinary ladies, you understand, at least one of them is a convicted Ya Bah (speed) dealer. Ms Samson Sor Siriporn is a prisoner at Bangkok’s infamous Bangkok Hilton, serving a 10 year stretch for dealing in Ya Bah. However, Ms Siriporn has done so well in her fighting career that she stands the chance of an early release on parole, due to having recently won the WBC light-flyweight title. Next month, 24-year-old Ms Siriporn will be fighting Japan's Ayaka Miyano and she thinks she’s in there with a good chance, not only of retaining her title, but also being able to go home to Lop Buri to start a new lease of life as a shopkeeper.

Ms Siriporn decided to become a pugilist two years ago, partly to relieve the sheer drudgery of prison life where inmates have to sew garments and sacks virtually all day long. However, Siriporn has so impressed her warders that she now has privileged treatment. Instead of having to sew, she gets to fight with her coach or do weightlifting. She’s also on a special high-protein diet and sleeps separately, with other privileged cons.

You might think that Ms Siriporn’s special treatment would earn the envy of her fellow, but less lucky inmates. After all, Thais do have quite a reputation for being envious. But no, the other inmates think she’s great. She also helps relieve the monotony, by staging fights at Bangkok Hilton Prison in Pathum Thani. In a place with few entertainments, the inmates wait eagerly for the next bout, cheering her every punch when she’s in the ring. They really appreciate her efforts. Initially, she had slight problems and threats from other aggressive prisoners, but surprise, surprise, the threats evaporated when Siriporn embarked on her new kickboxing career.

It’s not only her fellow cons that are impressed, either. The prison authorities think she’s great, too. They regard her as a model prisoner and have taken on board her professed reform and regret for her misspent youth. So much so, in fact, that they have taken the unprecedented step of offering her freedom. They appreciate the kudos that Siriporn is winning not only for the prison, but for Thailand as a whole. They also well appreciate the fact that in order to compete on the world stage in the World Boxing Council bouts, she would have to have freedom of movement, which is why they have offered her parole.

Siriporn’s fight for freedom is also supported by WBC Vice President, Kovit Bhakdibhumi, who maintains his organisation is right behind Siriporn in her efforts to secure a conditional release. "We want to show people can make good of their lives, no matter what they did in the past," he said. Bhakdibhumi also regards her as being a good kick boxer, who has exerted herself training-wise and has thus earned the opportunity to start again, but with a punch!

1 comment:

Dino said...

happy ending for this lady