Fighting for Redemption – The brand new York Times

PATTAYA, Thailand — the item was a peaceful moment for Chalermpol Sawadsuk, who has had very few peaceful moments during his life of violence along with crime. His girlfriend, Saranya Meesuk, leaned on his tattooed chest after his long day of training in Muay Thai, or Thai boxing, along with Sawadsuk turned reflective.

“Could you ever imagine which such a bad person as me could have a chance to have a nice family one day,” Sawadsuk, 30, asked in his native Thai. “I think love will be rehabilitation. I get up along with find breakfast waiting for me each morning. nevertheless I wonder even more what kind of woman could fall in love that has a man like me.”

In his previous life, he hurt people for a living.

When he was 18, Sawadsuk says he became an enforcer for an organized crime group in Bangkok, where he collected debts, ran drugs along with even killed those he was ordered to kill.

At 23, Sawadsuk was arrested along with sentenced to 10 years for drug trafficking. While in Wainoomklang Prison, Sawadsuk had time to think about his crimes along with the trouble he caused others. After a year, he learned of a government program which rewarded inmates who trained along with fought in organized Muay Thai bouts against some other prisons.

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“When I was 8 years old my uncle taught me Muay Thai,” Sawadsuk said. “I had some experience fighting inside the ring. I quit when I was about 15. I began to be unruly. I liked the feeling of being important to my friends, so I helped my friends to fight when they were in trouble.”

Focused Once more, Sawadsuk thrived within the ring, winning 19 times with 14 knockouts. Under the government-sanctioned program, he had seven years cut by his sentence for winning, along with was featured in a recent Showtime documentary about the success of the program.

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