The early era of Korean boxing is often ill remembered. Whilst many fans remember the 1980's and even early 1990's for Korean success what happened in the 70's is rarely talked about, despite it being a really interesting era for boxing in the country. Today we take a look at one of the early Korean world champions, Jae Doo Yuh, who was a national hero in the mid to late 70's, and a man who was responsible for several Korean records.
Whilt Yuh is remembered that well he is a very, very interesting fighter and with that in mind we bring you 10 facts you probably didn't know about...Jae Doo Yuh.
1--Yuh was the third Korean world champion, following Ki Soo Kim and Soo Hwan Hong. Rather oddly Kim and Yuh both held world titles at 154lbs and the OPBF (or OBF as it was known) title at Middleweight, and defended both, switching between the two weight classes.
2-In 1975 there was a biographical movie released about Yuh, entitled "눈물젖은 샌드백", which appears to translate as "Tearful Sandbag". That movie, in full, can be seen below this article.
3-In 2012 Yuh revealed that boxing did take a toll on his health and that his eyes were faltering. It appears his sight wasn't terrible but he did add that he doesn't drive at night time due issues with his eyes.
4-With 21 officially recognised defenses of the OPBF Middleweight title, or OBF title as it was known for much of his reign, he has more defenses of Oriental title in a single reign than any other fighter! Interestinestly a number of those defenses came whilst he was also holding a world title at 154lbs!
5-Had Yuh beaten Koichi Wajima in their second bout in 1976, the plan was for Yuh to face the then WBA champion Carlos Monzon.
6-Interestingly rumours have circulated that Yuh was actually drugged ahead of the Wajima rematch. The theory has long been that strawberries Yuh ate were poisoned hence him losing to a fighter he had beaten just 8 months earlier. In 31 bouts against Japanese fighters this was Yuh's only loss, going 29-1-1 in total against Japanese opponents.
7-Yuh's title win over Koichi Wajima was the first time a Korean fighter had ever scored a knockout in a world title bout. With that win he became the first Korean to win a world title by T/KO
8-Similarly when Yuh defeated Masahiro Misako on November 11th 1975 he became the first Korean fighter to successfully defend a world title on the road. Sadly like Ki Soo Kim and Soo Hwan Hong he went on to lose the title on the road. A second note about that win over Misako, is that it was also the first time a Korean world champion had defended a title by T/KO.
9-Yuh's popularity in Korea saw him being regularly invited to take part in politics. He has however declined, preferring to focus on boxing and creating a new generation of Korean fighters.
10-Interestingly Yuh was born in a era of Korean history where he was technically born when Korea was under the rule of the United States Army Military Government in Korea (USAMGIK). As a result some places list him as having been born under the American flag, rather than a Korean one. Though the USAMGIK would end only months after Yuh was born.
Extra Fact (potentially) - At least two sources stated that Yuh was supposed to compete at the 1968 Olympics, but was disqualified. due to a weighing mishap. Sadly though it's hard to get much in terms of solid and concrete details about his amateur career.
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).