Thailand’s Samson Tor Buamas: From Prison to Boxing Champion

Samson Tor BuamasThere are many movies that depicting fighting in prisons, with a winner gaining their freedom. In a case of “life imitating art”, Samson Tor Buamas just did that.

Buamas came from humble beginnings, and in order to help her impoverished family, she sold meth. She was soon caught and sent to Klong Luang Prison to serve a 10 year prison sentence at the age of 16. Prison offered several programs to help rehabilitate prisoners, and Buamas felt boxing would help her defend herself against other inmates.

She became one of the top students, and started to fight professional while still serving her time. She was able to fight at other facilities in Thailand while still under close guard. She soon got a promise from the prison’s boxing program that if she won a world boxing title, she would be considered for parole. She had lost her first title match against WBC minimumweight champion Nanako Kikuchi in 2006, but it didn’t detour her from trying to earn her freedom.

In April 2007, she gained the vacant WBC female light flyweight title by defeating Japan’s Ayaka Miyao by unanimous decision. In June, she was paroled.

She would defend the title numerous times and gain the WIBA International minimumweight title in her career. She is still fighting today, having won an unanimous decision over Alexis Mary Asher this past July.

Buamas’s story is one of redemption and overcoming adversity. Her journey from was told in the documentary “Boxing Behind Bars”. It aired on NatGeo in the U.S.

You can see a trailer for the documentary here.

Thanks to Emma Thomas on contributing to this story

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