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Posted : 2012-12-11 09:29
Updated : 2012-12-11 09:29

Boxer Yuh Myung-woo inducted into Hall of Fame

Korean boxer Yuh Myung-woo, a two-time world light flyweight champion, has been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, officials announced Tuesday.

Yuh, 48, is the second Korean boxer to enter the hall, after Chang Jung-koo, a former light flyweight champion, who was inducted in 2010.

Yuh is among 11 inductees selected by the Boxing Writers Association of America and a panel of international boxing historians. The Hall officials said induction ceremonies will take place on June 9 next year at the Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York.

Along with Chang, Yuh led the heyday of South Korean boxing in the 1980s. He holds the record for consecutive title defenses in the light flyweight division with 17.

In 1985, Yuh claimed the WBA light flyweight belt for the first time with a 15-round decision over Joey Olivo of the U.S., and went on to defend the crown for 17 matches in the next six years. Yuh handed future four-division champ Leo Gamez his first two losses. Rodolfo Blanco and Jose De Jesus were other future champions who lost to Yuh in the 1980s.

Yuh suffered the first and the only defeat of his career in 1991, when Hiroki Ioka of Japan beat him in a 12-round decision to snatch the title from the Korean.

A year later, Yuh got his revenge in a rematch against Ioka and reclaimed the championship with a 12-round win.

Yuh defended the title once again in 1993 by beating Yuichi Hosono of Japan, and retired at age 29 as a champion later that year with a 38-1 record, including 14 knockouts.

The diminutive fighter earned the moniker "Rainfall" in reference to the whirlwind of punches that "rained down" on his opponents.

In a phone interview with Yonhap News Agency, Yuh said the induction is "a great personal honor" and recounted some of his favorite memories.

"I remember the first time I became a champion," Yuh said. "I was so happy that I felt like I had everything in the world."

He also said his victory over Ioka in their rematch remains his most memorable bout.

"It was such a thrilling experience to win back the title, after losing to Ioka earlier," Yuh recalled. "I will never forget that sensation until the day I die."

Having accomplished the ultimate individual feat as a boxer, Yuh said his goal is now "to dedicate my life to South Korean boxing for the rest of my life." (Yonhap)