Although Korean boxing is going through a lull in recent years it's hard to deny just how strong Korean boxing history is with a host of legendary fighters. One man who many in Korea regarded as the most naturally talented is Chan Hee Park. Park was a truly exceptional and speedy boxer who carved out an impressive reputation as an amateur and rose to the top of the tree in the professional ranks.
Although a very successful Park has been rather forgotten in the west, with many fans merely looking at his record and no realising just how good he was, and how brightly he shone as a star during his prime. With that said here are 10 facts you probably didn't know about... Chan-Hee Park
1-Park won gold at the 1974 Asian games in Tehran before representing Korea at the 1976 Olympics, losing in the quarter final to eventual winner Jorge Hernández, who incidentally beat North Korean Li Byong Uk in the final.
2-On the subject of Park's amateur credentials, a Korean paper reported that Park went 125-2 in the unpaid ranks whilst another Koreanb source reported his record as an even more impressive 146-2.
3-In just his third professional bout Park beat the then OPBF Light Flyweight champion Sang Il Jung in a non-title bout. Around a year later Jung challenged Yoko Gushiken for the WBA world title.
4-According to Korean sources when Park won the world title he was listed as the first college student to be a boxing world champion, at the time he was just 21, with that achievement being recognised by the Guinness Book of Records.
5-Park was the first Korean boxer to defend a world title 5 times
6-It's been reported in the Korean press that when Park fought the TV rating for his fights were anywhere up to 80% of the Korean TV watching audience!
7-During his career Park ran up a 17-4-2 (6) record. Bizarrely 5 of his 6 career stoppage wins came in his first 8 professional bouts. His final 15 bouts saw him scoring just a single stoppage, with that coming in a shoot out with Guty Espadas
8-Despite losing 4 times in his career Park only lost to two men. From his 4 losses 5 came to Shoji Oguma and one came to Filipino journeyman Wick Tengam
9-After his career was over Park revealed he had made around ₩200,000,000 and was being paid up to ₩30,000,000 for some of his bouts. Sadly though the money didn't last long after his retirement.
10-Earlier this year Park stated in an interview that he is the professor of martial arts sports at KBS Sports Arts Academy in Gangseo-gu, Seoul.
Extra Fact 1 - After winning the WBC Light Flyweight title in March 1979, aged 21, Park would make his first 3 defenses in the space of just 9 months! He would cramp in his 4th and 5th defenses just 2 months apart and then lose the title to Shoji Oguma just over a month after his 5th defense. He put that level of activity down to why he lose the title, and it's not hard to see why with 7 world title fights in the space of 15 months!
Extra Fact 2 - Park was one of 2 Korean's to be award the Ring Magazine Progress of the Year award, doing so in 1979 after Soo Hwan Hong achieved the feat in 1974.
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).