Friday, September 25, 2009

Sports : Ray Mancini vs. Duk Koo Kim edition

Warren Zevon : Boom Boom Mancini


Sun Kil Moon : Duk Koo Kim


On November 13, 1982, 21-year-old lightweight champion Ray Mancini met 23-year-old South Korean challenger Duk Koo Kim. The fight that ensued is now famous for its tragic outcome : in the 14th round, Mancini hit a weakened Kim with a hard right, sending him flying into the ropes. The Korean hit the canvas with his head but somewhat managed to get back on his feet, but the referee stopped the bout. Shortly after the fight, Kim fell in a coma and died from brain injuries 4 days later.
Mancini went to Kim's funeral in South Korea, and fell into a deep depression, but he went back to the ring. But the tragedy was not over : both Kim's mother and the referee who hadn't stopped the bout earlier committed suicide, and the the WBC took steps to shorten its title bouts to a maximum of 12 rounds instead of 15.

Many thanks to my friend Søren from Denmark for suggesting me the Warren Zevon song (that I didn't know). "Some have the speed and the right combinations /If you can't take the punches it don't mean a thing " is one of the smartest things I've ever heard about boxing.

That song led me into reading Mancini's bio on Wiki and discovering that Mark Kozelek of Red House Painters had also made a song but this time about Kim with his other band Sun Kil Moon. The song lasts 14 minutes, like the number of rounds that Kim held before falling.

blog comments powered by Disqus