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Re: Remember boxer Ray Boom Boom Mancini?

Mancini was a great fighter, but unfortunately his most famous fight was against Deukoo Kim.

"Duekoo Kim was lightly regarded by the American boxing establishment, but not by Ray Mancini, who believed the fight would be a "war". Kim struggled to lose weight in the days prior to the bout so that he could weigh in under the lightweight's 135-pound limit. Before the fight, Kim was quoted as saying "Either he dies or I die." Prophetically, he wrote the message "live or die" on his Las Vegas hotel lamp shade only days before the bout (Kim wrote "live or die" but a mistaken translation led to "kill or be killed" being reported in the media).

Defending Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini and Kim met in an arena outside Caesars Palace on November 13, 1982. Mancini and Kim went toe to toe for a good portion of the bout, to the point that Mancini briefly considered quitting. Kim tore open Mancini's left ear and puffed up his left eye, and Mancini's left hand swelled to twice its normal size. After the fight Mancini's left eye would be completely closed. However, by the latter rounds, Mancini began to dominate, landing many more punches than Kim did. In the 11th he buckled Kim's knees. In the beginning of the 13th round Mancini charged Kim with a flurry of 39 punches, but had little effect. Sugar Ray Leonard (working as one of the commentators of the fight) said Kim came right back very strong. Leonard later declared the round to be closely contested. When the fighters came out for the 14th round, Mancini charged forward and hit Kim with a right hand, Kim reeled back, Mancini missed with a left, and then Mancini hit Kim with another hard right hand. Kim went flying into the ropes, his head hitting the canvas. Incredibly, Kim managed to rise unsteadily to his feet, but referee Richard Green stopped the fight and Mancini was declared the winner by TKO nineteen seconds into the 14th round. Ralph Wiley of Sports Illustrated, covering the fight, would later recall Kim pulling himself up the ropes as he was dying "One of the greatest physical feats I had ever witnessed."

Minutes after the fight was over, Kim collapsed into a coma, and was taken out of the Caesars Palace arena on a stretcher. At the hospital he was found to have a subdural hematoma consisting of 100cc of blood in his skull. Emergency brain surgery was performed at the hospital to try to save him, but that effort proved to be futile, and Kim died 4 days after the bout, on November 17. The neurosurgeon said it was caused by one punch. The week after, Sports Illustrated published a photo of the fight on its cover, under the heading Tragedy in the Ring. The profile of the incident was heightened by the fight having been televised live by CBS in the United States.

Kim had never fought a 15-round bout before. In contrast, Mancini was much more experienced at the time. He had fought 15-round bouts three times and gone on to round 14 once before. Kim compiled a record of 17 wins with 2 losses and 1 draw. Eight of Kim's wins were by way of knockout."

I have the poster from that fight and the Sports Illustrated cover.



Copyright 2017 David Spragg