When people talk about legendary Korean fighters names that often pop up are Jung Koo Chang, widely regarded as the greatest Korean fighter of all time, Ki Soo Kim, the first Korean world champion, Sung Kil Moon, a 2-weight world champion, and Myung Woo Yuh.
For this weeks 10 facts you probably didn't know about... we look Myung Woo Yuh.
The obvious details about Yuh are that he was a 2-time WBA Light Flyweight champion who run ran up a total of 18 defenses, with his first reign consisting of 17 of them, and that he beat everyone he faced, avenging his sole loss to Hiroki Ioka to become a 2-time champion. There is however a lot that fans don't know about the all action "Sonagi"
1-He began boxing at the Han River Middle School, in his first year there. As an amateur he reportedly went 1-3, whilst fighting at 45KG's. Due to his style not fitting the amateurs very well he turned professional aged just 18.
2-Yuh won the Korean Rookie of the Year tournament at Flyweight when he beat HyoYoung Park in July 1982
3-Yuh had awful problems making weight through much of his career, needing to cut down from 60KG's (132.27lbs) to 49KG's (108lbs), to hit his fighting weight.
4-Yuh's father was a bus driver and Yuh himself would use public transport whenever possible, not buying a car of his own until after his father retired. Once declining a free car from a manufacturer due to his dad's job
5-In 1988 Yuh was the highest paid boxer in Korea, out earning the likes of Park Jong-pal, Jung Koo Chang and Sung Kil Moon. During the year he earned a reported ₩380,000,000. In today's money that would be around ₩1,172,380,000, or $984,000.
6-Yuh married his wife in 1989, with over 300 guests. Included in the guests was the then WBC Super Middleweight champion In Chul Baek.
7-Yuh had hoped to retire unbeaten after scoring 20 defenses of the WBA Light Flyweight title. Those hopes were dashed when he lost in his international debut, losing a close decision to Hiroki Ioka. He would avenge the loss but admit the loss upset him and ended one of his dreams.
8-After retiring from active boxing Yuh would set up Buffalo Gym and Buffalo Promotions in the hope of developing the next generation of Korean fighters. He has also run a restaurant in Korea.
9-In 2017 Yuh was scheduled to compete in an exhibition bout with fellow Korean boxing legend Jung Koo Chang. Sadly that was cancelled due to pressure from others about the venue of the bout, which would have been on islands that Japand and Korea dispute. Sadly nothing has been done to reschedule the bout for some other venue.
10-Talking about Chang, Yuh has revealed in interviews that he feels he would have lost had he faced the "Korean Hawk" and also revealed that reasons for the bout not taking place included issues with TV, as he was an MBC fighter and Chang was a KBS fighter, and that it was better to have 2 Korean champions than just 1.
Extra Fact 1 - Yuh was twice appointed to be the Secretary General of the KBC, in 2009 and in 2012, but failed to sit a full term in either due to the political wrangling inside the KBC.
Extra Fact 2 - Yuh was the 2nd Korean inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, following Jung Koo Chang.
Extra Fact 3 - The brilliant 1985 bout between Yuh and Oh Kong Son was a WBA world title eliminator.
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).