When we look over Korean boxing history there are far too many fighters who simply lack the attention that they deserve. One such fighter is former Korean, OPBF and WBC Light Flyweight champion Sung Jun Kim.
Kim's career was a relatively short one, lasting just over 11 years, and was one that strangely fits the narrative that we often for boxing. He was a youngster who was in trouble with the law, and turned to boxing to keep him away from criminal activity. With there being so little remembered about the former champion here are 10 facts you probably didn't know about...Sung Jun Kim.
1-Kim was born into a relatively wealthy family, with his father running a business. Sedly though things changed when the business began to fail, and Kim would leave home at a relatively young age.
2-After leaving home Kim had various jobs, including a newspaper salesman and a show maker.
3-Prior to turning to boxing Kim was a very proficient pick pocket, and was arrested in 1976 for crimes related to pickpocketing. He was regarded as very lucky to only be given probation as his sentence could have landed him prison sentence time. Despite not serving a prison sentence he did end up losing the South Korean Light Flyweight title. Wait he was being held the prosecutor for the case went to speak to Kim who quoted as saying “Please allow me to only box you. If I don't become a world champion, I will die on the ring. ” in an attempt to win over the prosecutor. That prosecutor would later help support Kim during his career.
4-Although Kim started his career in 1971 things were slow to get going for him, and he had only fought twice by the start of 1974. Amazingly however he would then fit in 45 bouts between June 1974 and December 1981, before his final bout in July 1982. His busiest year during that stretch was 1977, with 8 bouts.
5-In 1979 Kim became the WBC Light Flyweight champion, stopping Netrnoi Sor Vorasingh. This saw him becoming only the 5th Korean world champion ever
6-Rather interestingly Kim went 0-7 in bouts outside of Korea. These included losses to Shoji Oguma (twice), Shigeo Nakajima, Miguel Canto and Rafael Orono.
7-Korean newspaper reports state that Kim was never knockdown in his career, an impressive fact given he was in a number of world class fighters during his hard career.
8-When Kim retired in 1982 his record was 28-14-6 (13), which looks awful. It should be noted however that he went 3-8-1 in his last 12 bouts, falling from a very respectable 25-6-5 (11). Like many fighters who went on too long, his record ended up not telling the full story as to how good he once was.
9-According to news reported at the time of his death Kim was running a Japanese restaurant in the underground shopping center of Korea. The restaurant, "Ring" has been financially struggling and sales were slipping.
10-On February 3rd 1989, at the age of 35, Kim took his own life jumping from the 6th floor of a building. Although it's unclear on the single main cause of his suicide he was suffering from not only financial issues relating to his business, and health issues from his career, but he had also split from his then fiance. It's though that a combination of those issues, and more, lead to Kim ending his life the way he did.
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).