Run, Train, and Box!
Winner of the 2017 KBF Rookie Championship
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With loud cheers from the audience, support from friends and family, nervous excitement throughout the body, and the tense atmosphere on the ring, the match was heated to its maximum and both players were growling with fierce spirit. An avid boxer, Kim Dong-woo (Department of Applied Physics, ERICA Campus, 4th year) has won his way up the tournament of 2017 Rookie Championship match hosted by Korea Boxing Federation and grabbed the champion’s trophy at last. Clenching his teeth and enduring extreme daily training, Kim shared his story as a newly rising champion.
Spotlight on the ring
“I remember the fatal blow that knocked my opponent down. I might have lost the match had it not been for that K.O.” reminisced Kim. It was at the last moment of his semi-final match that he struck a weighty blow and reeled his opponent backwards, after which Kim forcefully gave a succession of blows that finally knocked him down. “That was my favorite part of the match,” commented Kim.
For the championship, Kim had a total of three matches at intervals within a couple of weeks. His quarter-final match was an unearned win, his semi-final a memorable win, and his final match the victorious one. After his semi-final, Kim had an injury on his left-hand ligament, which could have posed him a disadvantage. Fortunately, however, there was a one week delay for the final match and Kim gained an extra week until he healed.
When Kim first steps on the ring, he naturally feels extreme nervousness sweeping over him. However, he manages to stay calm and hide that uneasiness by lightly running on the edges of the ring. “I need to show my opponent that I’m not nervous and that I’m confident. That’s the key to overcoming your nervousness.”
Dramatically, Kim's opponent for the final match was his close friend who trained and prepared for this championship together. “I expected to see him at last, assuming that I would make it to the final match. We both trained really hard, so if we didn’t meet at the last match, it would mean one of us has been defeated, which is enervating,” remarked Kim. To both players, the final match was made more meaningful because they both made it to that round.
How it all began
Kim first started boxing as a hobby as an attempt to lose weight after gaining a lot during exam weeks. As an uninterested starter, he never imagined becoming a boxing champion of Korea one day. After one year of training, Kim acquired his pro-boxer license and found himself completely befallen for boxing. Currently, as a senior at university, Kim is also concerned about his academics. He is facing the dilemma of either dedicating his life to boxing or going to a graduate school of physical education, only to pursue a career related to boxing.
As for now, Kim's passion is directed toward boxing and he is doing what he enjoys at the moment. “I know I should care more and focus on my career at this point but I love boxing so much that I can’t stop training for it.” After his victory at the championship, he felt rewarded for all his hard work and was determined that his road to becoming the champion of Korea was further paved. Despite his family’s concerns and disapprovals, he has only reaped positive outcomes and is driven further by his growing passion for boxing.
Jeon Chae-yun firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Kim Sang-yeon
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