PHUKET – The Chief of the Patong Police has called for a thorough investigation into the death of 27-year-old Canadian expat Matthew Richardson, a well-respected Muay Thai fighter in Phuket whose body was found in his rented home in Patong yesterday.
Capt Seksan Prakobsin of the Patong Police told The Phuket News that officers were notified of the man’s death at 10:20am, when police arrived at the home they found Richardson’s body lying face down with the strap of a black carry bag still around his neck on the bathroom floor.(See story here.)
Patong Police Chief Col Tassanai Orarigadech told The Phuket News today, “After we received some information about the case, I do not want to sum up that he committed suicide.
“We will send his body to the forensic laboratory at Surat Thani Hospital tomorrow (July 26). We really need this forensic report so that we can know the exact cause of death in this case,” he added.
Col Tassanai confirmed that bruises were found on Mr Richardson’s neck, but no other evidence of a struggle were found on his body or in the house.
However, he added, “I do not want to jump to any conclusions. We have informed Canadian embassy officials of our investigation and they have notified his relatives, and they have contacted me back already.”
Col Tassanai declined to reveal any possible motivation for Mr Richardson’s death, whether by his own hand or if he were murdered.
“At this stage I cannot reveal any more details about the case,” he concluded.
Mr Richardson, originally from Ottawa, according to his posts online, maintained a positive outlook and had support from many fans and friends around the globe.
As recently as last Thursday (July 20), Mr Richardson posted online his thanks and gratitude – a common theme in his posts – in Thai and in English: “Thank you for everything Ajarn Chaynoi! Safe travels & see you soon!”
Only two days earlier, he posted, “I am honoured to be the new DBKL Kuda Merah Malaysian International Champion! Looking forward to defending my title later this year in Kuala Lumpur.
Thank you to the fight fans in Malaysia, and everyone for their support!
“Shout out to my gym Ruthless Fight Center [in Patong] and sponsors at Reflex Nutrition Thailand.”
Mr Richardson had a successful career as a Muay Thai fighter. On his own Facebook profile, he listed his fight card as 33 pro fights with 22 wins – 16 KO, 10 losses, 1 no contest.
Locally he had won two EFL champion titles (75 kilogram) and won the Bangla stadium champion titles in both the 70kg and 75kg divisions each twice, and reigned as the Patong stadium champion (72kg).
Meanwhile, tributes to the fallen fighter have flowed online.
“Matthew Richardson was a gentleman Canadian who lived and breathed Muaythai, who chose to live and train in a foreign land whose culture and people he loved and deeply respected. He has legions of fans from all over the world because of the exciting way he fought and his very friendly attitude outside of the cage and ring. He fought in our event at Resorts World Manila in 2013 and since then, we became good friends,” wrote one friend, posting under the name “muayfanaticxxx”.
“The Thai Government owes it to his family to conduct a very thorough investigation to find the real cause of his death. He just won an international title in Malaysia and posted in his FB [Facebook] that he was looking forward to defending it later this year. He had a great camp and wonderful friends around him and very supportive family in Canada. At 27 he had everything going for him.”
Source: The Phuket News
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