1988-Tae Shik Jun's debut
The Korean boxing scene isn't what it once was, however it's certainly not as dead as it was just a couple of years ago. Sadly we are a long way removed from the Gold age though it will only take 1 fighter to kick start the country's significance at world level. Amazingly it's 31 years ago that Tae Shik Jun made his professional debut.
Jun's career what a short one, but a notable one. Just 16 months after his debut he had claimed the South Korean Featherweight title and he continued his rise through the ranks, before challenging countryman Young Kyun Park in 1993 for the WBA Featherweight title. Sadly Jun lost to his compatriot, with Park losing the title just months later to Eloy Rojas.
Jun would only fight once more after losing to Park, retiring with a career record of 17-1 (10), winning his final bout against Ronnie Boy Pena in November 1993.
1975-Oguma loses to Canto
In 1975 Japan's Shoji Oguma attempted to defend the WBC Flyweight title against Mexican Miguel Canta. Oguma has won the title 3 months earlier, defeating Betulio Gonzalez, but was narrowly beaten by Canto, with both men feeling they had deserved the win. It was razor thin, with Canto taking the majority decision.
Despite the loss the Oguma wanted a rematch, and would actually get 2 of them in 1978. Sadly for Oguma he would lose both, the first rematch was a split decision win for Canto whilst the second rematch was unanimous decision for Canto. Despite Canto going 3-0 all 3 bouts were razor close, and Oguma is often a forgotten man in the division.
Interestingly Oguma would reclaim the title in 1980, defeating Chan Hee Park, the man who had ended Canto's reign. Not only did he win the title back in 1980 but was also named the Ring Magazine Comeback of the Year fight for the year.
1959-Deuk Koo Kim's birthday
Tragic Korean fighter Deuk Koo Kim was born on this day in 1959. The courageous Korean ran up a 17-1-1 (8) record before making his US debut and challenging Ray Mancini for the WBA Lightweight title in 1982. Kim would be stopped early in round 14, and sadly passed away a few days.
The bout with Mancini forced boxing to change, with changes to the medical checks of the sport and the length of bouts, with various bodies cutting length of fights from 15 to 12 rounds. The WBC was the first to act, though all other followed suit in the years that followed.
Prior to fighting Mancini Kim was a real unknown outside of Asia, where he had held and defended the OPBF title and had been unbeaten in 16 fights. Whilst he had good form on paper the bout was a huge step up in class. He was competitive, but in the end his desire to win and insane toughness came at the highest price.