Fists help free convict

PATHUM THANI, Thailand - Convicted Thai drug dealer Samson Sor Siriporn walked out of prison three years early yesterday as a reward for winning the WBC light-flyweight title earlier this year.

PATHUM THANI, Thailand - Convicted Thai drug dealer Samson Sor Siriporn walked out of prison three years early yesterday as a reward for winning the WBC light-flyweight title earlier this year.

The 24-year-old bid farewell to fellow inmates before emptying her locker and walking out through the vast iron prison gates, which clanked closed behind her.

"This is a dream come true," she said, beaming at the dozens of reporters who had turned up at the Women's Correctional Institute in Pathum Thani, 50km north of Bangkok, to see her released.

Siriporn plans to defend her title, and though she is free to return home, she will live and train in the grounds of the same prison where she has spent the last seven years locked up.

Siriporn's grandmother, her only living relative, was not there to see her release, but Siriporn said they would meet next week when she visits her home town in Lop Buri, central Thailand.

Jailed at the age of 17 for 10 years for selling ya ba (crazy drug) methamphetamine pills, Siriporn took up boxing to pass the time and to protect herself from violent inmates.

She scored a unanimous points victory over Japan's Ayaka Miyano in a makeshift ring on the grounds of the infamous "Bangkok Hilton" prison in April to win the vacant women's WBC title, a victory that kick-started her early release. - Reuters

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