Boxing


No Hesitating into the Hall for This Korean Great

06.12.07 - By Ted Sares: Myung-Woo Yuh finished with a 38-1 record and made 17 successful title defenses during his first reign (the record for the 108 pound division). This former two-time WBA Light Flyweight Champion belongs in the International Boxing Hall of Fame with no hesitation whatsoever.

Opposition: Very solid with most coming in with impressive record. They included future world champion Hiroki Ioka, American Joey Oliva, undefeated Venezuelan Leo “Torito” Gamez, Argentinean Mario Alberto De Marco, and Mexican Willy Salazar..

Style

He was both a skilled technician and, when necessary, a brawler. Combining a full arsenal of stiff jabs, punishing hooks and straight rights with super stamina and rings smarts, the baby faced Yuh operated like a surgeon breaking down his opponents systematically. Yet, when it came time to brawl, he could assume the South Koreans never-say-die mentality in a nanosecond. Maybe the best example of this was his savage battle and cult classic with Oh Kon Son.

Oh Kon Son vs. Myung-Woo Yuh (1986)

These two Koreans met in Seoul in a fight that featured head to head exchanges without let up and which had Son‘s face a bloody mess by the sixth round. I am fortunate enough to have rare footage of this fight and it must be seen to be believed.

Son, 19-1 coming in, suffered two standing 8-counts during the first six rounds, but gave as good as he took against the more skilled Yuh who used sharp combos to slice and dice his gutsy foe. Finally, in the seventh stanza, he dropped Son with a body shot and the fight was wisely halted. Son, as is the case with most Korean fighters, was one of those who must be saved from himself.

In March 2006, Somsak Sithchatchawal took part in what would later win Ring Magazine’s Fight of the Year laurels. He challenged WBA Super Bantamweight champion Mahyar Monshipour. Sithchatchawal dropped Monshipour in the first round, and won via TKO in the 10th round to capture the belt. The Son-Yuh savagery was every bit as good, but went unnoticed and thus achieved true cult classic status.

Suh’s first defeat would come at the hands of Hiroki Ioka in Osaka, Japan in
December 1991 by SD. The scoring was as follows: Harold Lederman (US.) 113-115, Oscar Perez (US) 115-113, and Phil Newman 112-117. Less than a year later, he avenged his only defeat again fighting in Osaka. This time the scoring was more decisive: Antonio Requena 119-111, Manuel Gonzalez 117-112, and Lou Tabat 114-114.

Myung-Woo Yuh fought one more time before retiring as the most storied 108 pound fighter ever. On July 25, 1993, He beat Yuichi Hosono, 16-2-1, over 12 rounds to retain his title and retire with his crown intact.

Last year, Ricardo Lopez was inducted into the Hall and rightly so. It’s a pity he never his tested his greatness against Yuh (who should have been enshrined years ago).

Next year, do the right thing. Induct Myung-Woo Yuh without hesitation.

Article posted on 06.12.2007



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