Muay Thai athlete Anthony Durand ended his career after his last opponent passed away as a result of a strike received during their bout. 25-year-old Thai boxer Phanphet Phadungchai died on July 15 after his match with Durand.
At the Muay Thai FX event in Thailand, Phadungchai was knocked out in the fifth round with a vicious elbow to the jaw from Durand. Following the strike, Phadungchai struck his head on the canvas and was rendered unconscious.
The star was taken to a hospital in Bangkok right afterward. However, after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage, doctors pronounced him brain dead.
Phadungchai was kept alive in the hospital for nine days before tragically dying over the weekend. Now that Phadungchai’s death has come to light, Frenchman Durand has declared his retirement from the sport and said he feels “responsible.”
Durand said on Facebook: “I’m aware I’m not responsible for what’s happening, but I can’t think ‘It’s the risks, at some point, you have to expect it’.
“It’s a big shock, maybe he took a lot of blows before that fight. I faced him for five rounds and it was one of my last shots… So of course I feel responsible and no one can take that out of my head.”
“Even though your messages, calls, and comments are comforting me at the moment, I am deeply sad. It is inexplicable but it’s fate and I have no right to oppose it.”
“I only wish he is resting in peace now and I commit to his mother, wife, and their little girl to contribute financially until they tell me they don’t need it anymore.This was my 28th fight but it was the last.”
“I will not return… Thank you to everyone who has been there since my debut and I am sorry because I know that some people have sacrificed a lot to see me at the top.”
WBC Muay Thai conveyed their condolences with a photo of Padungchai on Facebook.
The statement was:
“The entire WBC Muay Thai family sends our condolences to the family of Parnpetch Padungchai was sadly passed away this evening (July 23), succumbing to the injuries suffered in a Muay Thai contest on July 15.
“May he Rest In Peace.”