Showtime Sports has set a date to air a new documentary examining a controversial practice in Thailand’s criminal justice system whereby violent inmates can earn their freedom by winning a series of Muay Thai fights.
The 90-minute Prison Fighters: 5 Rounds to Freedom will bow Feb. 24 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT.
“This story is unlike anything we’ve ever encountered,” said Stephen Espinoza, EVP and GM, of the CBS-owned network’s sports division, in a statement. “Redemption is a common metaphor in sports stories, but this is a story about actual redemption and rehabilitation, with prisoners literally fighting for their release from prison. This film brings viewers inside a personal story of crime and punishment, set against a societal debate about the meaning of justice, rehabilitation and the opportunity for a second chance.”
Narrated by Sons of Anarchy star Ron Perlman, Prison Fighters centers on the story of Noy Khaopan, a convicted murderer serving time in the Khao Prik Prison in Thailand. Viewers will hear from Khaopan and his family, as well as from the relatives of his victim.
Ultimately, Khaopan’s freedom rests on one final fight, which poses the question: Can violent men redeem themselves through violent acts?
American Cody Moberly of Wichita, Kansas, a professional fighter training and competing in Thailand, serves as Khaopan’s opponent in the final high-stakes fight.
The film also focuses on former World Champion boxer “Oh” Sirimongkol Singwangcha, who now runs a training facility on the outskirts of Bangkok. Once considered Thailand’s Manny Pacquiao, Oh was convicted of drug possession years earlier, but earned his way to freedom through the prison fight system.
The 90-minute film is produced by Jason Bowers, written by Mark Kriegel and directed by Micah Brown.
Watch the clip below: