The roosters stood centimeters apart, hook-shaped blades strapped to their legs. Cameras surrounded a dirt ring, streaming the fight to thousands of online gamblers huddled over cellphones across the Philippines.

A referee shadowed the animals as they tore out feathers, pounded air and nipped at vulnerable parts of the neck. Less than a minute later, the match was over and a winner declared. The victor squawked over the body of the defeated.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.