5 Midweek Facts - Seung Soon Lee
Between 1979 and 1989 Korean fighter Seung Soon Lee (31-4, 23) managed to have a solid career, winning 31 of his 35 career bouts. During his days in the ring he notably won the South Korean Welterweight title, as well as the OPBF Welterweight title, he scored a win on US soil, stopping Sergio Sanchez, and even ended up landing a world title fight in 1989.
Sadly Lee's career is best remembered internationally for his penultimate bout, a quick loss to Mark Breland, but prior to that he had had a distinguished career in the East.
Today we plan to shine a light on Lee's career as we bring you 5 Mid Week Facts about Seung Soon Lee, as we remember the often forgotten Korean fighter.
1-On December 7th 1980 Lee won the Korean Rookie of the Year, beating Taek Jong Jung in 3 rounds.
2-Lee's 10 year career, spanning from 1979 to 1989 was a strange one in a number of ways, one of which was his activity level. Given he fought 35 times in his career it would be fair to assume that he was fairly busy through his career. After all an average of 3.5 fights a year would make sense. Instead however he squeezed in more than 25% of his total career bouts in 1980 alone, with 9 bouts from January 1st 1980 to December 31st 1980. This was a stark comparison to 1988, when he fought just once, or 1986 and 1989, years where he fought twice.
Similar, in some ways, is the fact that Lee's losses are also not evenly distributed through his career. He lost on his debut, before reeling off 29 straight wins, then finished his career with 3 losses in 5 bouts.
3-Staying on the subject of his losses Lee actually beat everyone he faced other than Mark Breland and Hyung Duk Choi, his debut opponent. His second loss came to Young Kil Jung, who he had beaten twice earlier in his career, and his final loss came to Jun Suk Hwang, who he had also beaten earlier in his career, in fact he had stopped Hwang in 1987.
4-Going into his 1989 bout with Mark Breland for the Welterweight title, Lee was ranked #2 by the WBA, a ranking that like we see now a days made absolutely no sense at all. Some things never changed. Amazingly Lee was also paid a reported $60,000 for the bout. Given it lasted 54 seconds he was essentially paid $60,000 for less than a minutes work! Nice!
5-For those interesting Lee does actually hold a world record! At the time of writing, his 54 second loss to Breland is the shortest ever bout for the WBA Welterweight title. In fact it's one of only two bouts for the belt to have been stopped in the opening round, the other was Donald Curry's win over Roger Stafford in 1983. That bout lasted 48 seconds longer than Lee's with Breland.
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