Child Boxing in Thailand

AJS Thailand Child Boxing 01

This was a tough assignment, photographing child boxers in the poor outskirts of Bangkok. Not tough because of access or subject matter or anything like that. Tough in a different way. Tough showing what it was really like without falling into classic cliches of poor youths quite literally fighting to survive in a harsh unforgiving environment. Because while it was certainly that to a certain extent, it was also so much more. Muay Thai is for all intents and purposes a sacred sport and art in Thailand: graceful and disciplined and beautiful and savage, much like the country itself. It’s an honor to fight, and while it attracts poor youths much more so than those born with gilded golden spoons in their mouths, it isn’t only for their dreams of making it big and getting out and all those other big words and phrases that have captured the world’s imagination on more than just a few occasions. It’s also done out of the pure love, the sheer joy, the absolute simplicity of it all. Muay Thai is Thailand as much as anything else. From youths onwards. And so really, this is just the beginning.

AJS Thailand Child Boxing 02
AJS Thailand Child Boxing 03
AJS Thailand Child Boxing 04
A portrait of Boonsong Samrong outside of his home and gym in Rayong, Thailand.
AJS Thailand Child Boxing 06
AJS Thailand Child Boxing 07
AJS Thailand Child Boxing 08
The crowd and gamblers at Thepprasit Boxing Stadium in Pattaya, Thailand.
AJS Thailand Child Boxing 10
AJS Thailand Child Boxing 11