‘I feel responsible’: French Muay Thai boxer retires after fatal fight

Parnpetch Phadungchai, at left, shakes hand with Anthony Durand before their match on July 15 at the Royal Thai Air Force Stadium.
Parnpetch Phadungchai, at left, shakes hand with Anthony Durand before their match on July 15 at the Royal Thai Air Force Stadium.

A French Muay Thai boxer said yesterday he would retire from the sport after his opponent died following their recent bout.

One day after 25-year-old Parnpetch Phadungchai died on Saturday night, Anthony Durand said he would no longer fight. Parnpetch died a week after Durand knocked him out in the ring.. 

“I feel responsible, and no one can take that out of my head,” Durand wrote in French. “I am deeply sad. It is inexplicable, but it’s fate, and I have no right to oppose it.”

Duran said he would fight one more match, his last. 

“I will not return,” the French boxer said.

During their July 15 bout at the Royal Thai Air Force Stadium, Durand landed a blow to Parnpetch’s jaw. The Thai fighter lost consciousness and was hospitalized for an apparent brain injury before he was pronounced dead Saturday. He is survived by his wife and 3-year-old daughter.

Parnpetch’s body arrived in his hometown Sunday in Sukhotai prince. His funeral will take place at Wat Hang Talat in Sukhotai’s Kong Krailat district through Friday. He will be cremated at 3pm on Saturday.

Parnpetch, who was born Sarayuth Klingming, started boxing when he was 11 with his father, his first trainer. He graduated from the Faculty of Physical Education at the Thailand National Sports University prior to becoming a national kickboxer. He won a silver medal at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games and competed in several other tournaments.

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