Muay Thai champ turned watch-seller threatens to kill British expat

File this under “dont start an argument” and “keep your cool” and also don’t pick a fist fight with a boxer — according to social media, a former Muay Thai boxing champion has been  taken into police custody, allegedly threatening to kill someone for refusing to buy a watch. Phayu Sisaeng, 35, was arrested late Sunday night after David Bruce Cowperthwaite, 52, filed a complaint with Pattaya police at about 10pm on Sunday.

Apparently the champ has a history of violence once having stabbed another foreigner, a Russian.

The Briton owns a sandwich shop in Pattaya and he was accompanied by one of his employees, Chanthana Nupaengtha, 39, in filing the complaint. Chanthana, who works in the shop’s kitchen, told police Phayu came to the sandwich shop at about 11pm on Saturday and tried to sell the imitation watch to Cowperthwaite but the Brit refused and asked him to leave. Chanthana alleged Phayu became angry and engaged in a fist fight with the shop owner before he left.
He alleged that after the shop was closed that night, Phayu returned and shouted outside the shop that he would kill the Briton. Chanthana alleged Phayu returned on Sunday evening and again threatened to kill the Briton, terrifying female staff at the shop.
Cowperthwaite file the complaint because he was concerned his frightened staff would quit their job.
Police found that Phayu was jailed after he stabbed the Russian tourist in 2015 when the tourist refused to buy a fake watch.
Phayu was the champion of Muay Thai Channel 7 in 1994.
When he was arrested for this latest alleged offence, police found 14 fake watches in his possession.

There is undoubtably more to the story as people generally don’t get enraged unless they are told to leave in a less than polite manner. Possibly the provocative words were some variant of “f— off”. If you are dumb enough to get involved in a verbal argument, don’t escalate to physicality, especially if your opponent is a champion boxer. Sure, this watch seller probably has anger management issues, but there is a saying — don’t poke the bear. And in a culture like Thailand where the concept of “Face” matters, don’t put the other person in a position where they lose face. In this case the guy was told to leave so he would lose face. It would be preferrable to him, to be dragged away by others so that he doesnt lose so much.

In terms of advice to give. If you need to report a crime in Pattaya, then it is highly advisable to bring a Thai friend like the victim here did. Not only can it help in terms of an additional, credible witness, but the Pattaya police don’t always have an English speaker or an interpreter on hand. Quite often the desks at soi 9 are manned by only Thai speakers. Even amongst tourist police not all members have anything more than the most rudimentary level of English speaking. If you are on holiday and do not know any Thai friends, ask a hotel staff member to help you. You may need to offer a tip or for them to go with you after they finish their work since its a pain in the butt for them too, nobody in their right mind actually wants to talk to police.

richard coxley

Richard Coxley is a business consultant with over 12 years experience in Asia. He enjoys playing golf. He has travelled extensively in Thailand and currently resides in Pratumnak, Pattaya.

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