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How Gamblers and Fighters Are Beautiful Together

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I'm sitting here crying as I watch this clip of Petchtong exiting the ring after losing by KO to Gongchai (a champion of the late Sangtiennoi). You can see Petchtong isn't all there, he's very raw and can't hold things in his gloves; he just wants to bury his face in the shoulder of his dad or trainer, the guy in the red shirt. For context, the gamblers cheering the fight offered a 53,000 Baht "injection" - an incentive offered during a fight to encourage a fighter to come from behind - and even though he lost by KO, the gamblers - who lost money - were so happy with his performance they still gave him 12,000 Baht in tips. 

I find this so beautiful. People complain about gambling and I understand the broad brush of how it has too much influence on outcome and matchmaking; but this is also absolutely a part of gambling and Muay Thai's relationship and I'd hate to see this go.



And here's the fight:


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