Light Heavyweights in the Orient have always been few and far between. On the whole the region doesn't have the genetics or body type to make a mark at 175lbs on a regular basis. There are however a handful of exceptions with Korean fighter Lee Soo Hang (5-6-2, 4) being one of the very first exceptions to the rule.
Notably Hang's career only ran from 1979 to 1986, and consisted of just 14 fights with him winning less than half of those, but he is certainly a footnote in boxing history, and someone who deserves a lot more attention than he gets, and ever will get.
Rather than having a long introduction here, lets just take a look at 5 Midweek Facts about Lee Soo Hang, and explain why his career is worthy of some series attention.
1-Lee Soo Hang began boxing under the guidance of Mong Hyun Lee at the Gwangdon High School in 1977. The following year he competed as an amateur, winning silver in a national tournament and then turned professional in late 1979.
2-At the time of writing (April 2020) Boxrec do not have a full record of Lee Soo Hang, despite having several profiles of Hang. We won't go through all the bouts of his that Boxrec are missing but they don't have his first two bouts, which took place on back to back days in November 1979 and saw him win Korean Rookie of the Year at Middleweight!
Boxrec also list him as being a southpaw, with Korean sources insisting he was orthodox.
3- Whilst his professional record on Boxrec is incomplete, what is agreed on by Boxrec, and all other sources, is that Lee Soo Hang is that he was the first ever OPBF Light Heavyweight champion, making him a legitimate footnote in the history of the OPBF title. He claimed the belt in July 1982 when he stopped Toshiaki Suzuki in 4 rounds. Sadly he would become the first fighter to lose that title less than a year later.
Incidentally Lee Soo Hang won the OPBF Light Heavyweight title after previously coming up short for the Korean Middleweight title. With his OPBF title win Korea then held 12 of the 13 OPBF titles, with the only exception being the Bantamweight title held by the brilliant Eijiro Murata
4-Sadly winning the OPBF title for Lee Soo Hang was the start of the end and the Korean failed to pick up another win before retiring. In fact he went 0-5-1 afterwards to retire 5-6-2 (4).
5-Unsurprisingly, given he won an OPBF Light Heavyweight title, Lee Soo Hang was a tall man for a Korean. In fact he was reportedly 184cm (just over 6'), which was huge for a Korean in the 1980's and saw him tower most of his fellow fighters from the time. In fact pictures of him that emerged on the internet a few years ago still show him towering over people.
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).