From 1977 to 1982 Korean boxing had a thrilling all action hero in the form of Tae Shik Kim (17-3, 13), an aggressive, exciting, heavy handed ball of fury who oozed charisma and knew how to put on a show. He was stopped in his debut before going on an incredible run, winning 14 in a row scoring 11 T/KO's and securing the WBA Flyweight title, with a brilliant win over Luis Ibarra.
Sadly Kim's career at the top didn't last long. He lost the WBA Flyweight title in his second defense and he went 3-2 (2) in his final bout before being forced to retire whilst still in his mid 20's.
Despite having a short career, with just 20 fights over a 5 year period, the exciting Kim was a huge star during his career and was the bright hope of Korean boxing at the time. Now a days however he is, sadly, a bit ill remembered with few fans talking about him and few remembering just how good he was.
1-As a child Kim was one of 7 children, having 4 brothers and 2 sisters. Also as a child he was rather prone to injuring himself. He reported damaged his head as a child, falling off something high, and also fractured his thumb, falling off a bike.
2-As a fighter Kim's nickname was "Stone Fist"
3-In 2007 Kim revealed that his first defense of the WBA Flyweight title, against Arnel Arrozal wasn't the bout he was supposed to have. He explained that, originally, was supposed to fight Peter Mathebula but that bout was scrapped about 15 days before hand when Mathebula was unable to get a visa. The South African fighter was in Hong Kong at the time and had to travel back with Arrozal replacing him on very short notice.
4--In that same 2007 interview Kim revealed that he had suffered a broken jawbone in round 4 of that bout with Arrozal, fighting 11 rounds with the injury. He later explained that the hospital staff said he wasn't human for enduring the pain. As for the visa issues of Mathebule, this was, in part, due to the sanctions against South Africa and the Apartheid regime.
5-In his second defense Kim did face Peter Mathebula, losing his title via controversial split decision. For that bout Kim got received 85 million Korean Won. According to Kim the bout had various issues with it, including being fought with 8oz gloves instead of 6oz gloves the 5 minutes it took to tally the scorecards.
6-Sadly after beating Roberto Ramirez in September 1982, by split decision, Kim required brain surgery to treat a subdural haematoma. This surgery forced him into retirement and ended his career when he was in his mid 20's. This injury affected him later in life, and he has admitted that he was treated differently in society afterwards, with people thinking he would be an idiot after the surgery. Thankfully however he made a full recovery from the sugery and was an eloquent individual in the years that followed his career ending injury.
7-In retirement Kim has done several things. These included running a meat restaurant, a coffee shop and a billiard's room.
8-In 2007 Kim opened a new boxing gym, 'Kim Tae-sik Boxing Gym'. opening it when he was in his 50's.
9-There is some confusion about Kim's date of birth. Boxrec have it at July 4th 1957 whilst Korean sources state it was July 4th 1957.
10-Kim got married when he was 37 to a much younger woman who didn't know him from his boxing career. He has stated that she was in the first year of elementary school when he was the world champion.
Extra fact -
According to multiple Korean sources he was ducked by Yoko Gushiken, who was happy to fight any other Korean fighter at the time, but not Kim. It should be noted however that Kim rarely fought at Light Flyweight and won not just the WBA Flyweight but also the Korean Rookie of the Year at Flyweight, even if he was just over the Light Flyweight limit at the time.
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).