The world of professional boxing is full of interesting characters and unusual stories, with people from different backgrounds and heritages. One such fighter is former Japanese Middleweight champion Keitoku Senrima (12-8, 7), who fought between 1979 and 1989 and fought most of his career under a fake name! In fact his real name was Ge-Dok Kim. Despite being born in Japan he was a Korean fighter, who associated with North Korea due to his heritage.
Although his career only last 20 bouts he was a pretty notable figure in the ring and was one of the more notable Japanese Middleweights of the 1980's. He has also become one of the key figures in Japanese boxing in Kobe, where he has become a popular promoter.
Atlhough Senrima's record looks appalling he achieved an awful lot during his 20 bouts and turned around a 4-5 start to his professional career to win the Japanese Middleweight title and make 5 successful defenses. In fact he went from 4-5 as a professional to 11-5 before a poor run late in his career.
With that little introduction out of the way, lets learn more about Senrima, as we share 5 Midweek facts about Keitoku Senrima!
1-Senrima's background is interesting, as alluded to above. He was a third generation Japanese-Korean and he was one of 4 siblings, with Senrima having 2 brothers and a sister. Notably he was always quite open about his Korean heritage, something that many Japanese-Koreans tend to hide. Interestingly "Senrima" is the name of a mythical winged horse from Chinese mythology that has been regarded as an incredibly important symbol for North Korea.
2-Before taking to boxing Senrima was originally a good basketball player. He was part of the Basketball club at the Kobe Korean Senior High School and later played in an adult team following graduation. Amazingly he was 20 when he picked up boxing and would debut as a professional aged 21! Rather notable he was around 6'0" which perhaps explains some of his success in basketball, given the average height in Japan for men in 1980 was around 5'7", he was a bit of a giant.
3-A a fighter Senrima had several names. He debuted as Keitoku Senrima, then changed his fighting name in 1984, around the time of his second bout with Shinji Tojo, changed against at the time of his third bout with Tojo and then went back to the Senrima name when he challenged Gary Hubble for the OPBF Light Heavyweight.
4-In September 1983 Senrima sparred at the Kronk Gym, sharing the ring with the legendary Tommy Hearns and Milton McCrory. Rather notably Senrima would have been the Japanese Middleweight champion at this point, whilst Hearns was the WBC Light Middleweight champion and McCrory was the WBC Welterweight champion.
5-Following his retirement Senrima set up the Senrima Kobe Gym. The Gym isn't one of biggest out there but has been a success story and was responsible for the early success of Hozumi Hasegawa, who later left to be part of the Shinsei Gym. It also helped Teiru Kinoshita get two world title fights, sadly though he lost both to Zolani Tete and Jerwin Ancajas.
Thinking Out East
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