A new mini-series has just dropped on Netflix called Hurts Like Hell. This new 4-part series is from Thailand and deals with the corruption in Muay Thai Boxing
Part fictional and part documentary, the series delves into the dark and exploitive world of Thai boxing. In great detail, we get to see the corruption the fighters face. From gamblers getting into dangerous, crippling debt to Thai fighters being forced to throw fights by gangsters. For a 4-part drama series, this sure packs a lot in.
Before we get into the series, I wanna say that I was also part of the problem we are seeing in Hurts Like Hell
When I was in Thailand, the first thing I wanted to see was some Thai boxing. Long story short, we got ringside seats. I thought the fighters were so respectful. The one thing that really shocked me though was the age of some of the fighters. For the first half of the event, the fighters were no older than 10 years old. But these little dudes would kick seven shades of shit out of any grown man, of any size.
As the night went on, the fighters got older. By the end of the event, I had so many large Singha beers I found my drunken stupid ass in the fighters’ changing room. I shit you not. They were all super nice and I got an amazing photo with them all battered, bloodied and bruised. My camera was then robbed on the boat back from Ko Samui island. True story.
Now, all these years later, I feel like sort of an asshole and part of the problem I am watching onscreen. Those kids were far too young to be put in a ring. yeah, for sure they could handle themselves, but how much of that money from all of us tourists did those young kids get? I’d take a wild guess and say very, very, little. I also feel like I should have given the fighters some cash for that photo and the awesome moment I forced them to share with me. So, I hold my hands up, I fed that exploitive monster in Thailand, and I am not proud of it.
In the series we get to see every seedy side of the sport. I have to admit, I wasn’t sure about the part-documentary and part live-action approach, but it works really well. We know everyone is talking from experience and what we’re seeing unfold oncreen actually happened. Rather than being based on a true story, we get to see a dramatisation of real events with the gritty details included.
Check it out, Hurts like Hell is now on Netflix and is more than worth your time.
As always, thanks for reading.