Hankook Ilbo President Lee Jong-seung, center, poses with Bob ``The Beast’’ Sapp, right, and ``Super Dragon’’ Lee Wang-pyo, with Lee’s wrestling champion’s belt ahead of the Oct. 26 match between the two. The match will be Sapp’s pro-wrestling debut in Korea. / Korea Times
By Ines Min
Bob ``The Beast'' Sapp is a hulking, 195-centimeter mass of muscle. The American boxer-cum-mixed-martial arts-cum-pro-wrestler has dabbled in myriad business and entertainment industries but is hoping for a fighting comeback with a whirlwind world tour of bouts.
Sapp has returned to South Korea for a pro-wrestling debut match here with native Lee Wang-pyo Oct. 26. Afterward, he has kickboxing matches scheduled in France and South Africa in November and December, respectively.
The 35-year-old carries a controversial reputation ― he is known for his aggression and strength, but also for unfair play, some feel. After taking a year-and-half break in late 2005, the fighter returned to the scene with a determined outlook, although he has suffered several defeats lately.
``This is definitely a turning point,'' Sapp said in an interview with The Korea Times Monday. ``You'll see many things changing in my life.''
``It's kind of like an action and adventure movie,'' Sapp said about his current endeavors in the pro-wrestling industry. ``I love to use my imagination and excitement'' in the ring, he added.
The multi-faceted fighter already has a dedicated fan base in Japan for his MMA matches, where he is well-known for his larger-than-life persona in the ring. He hopes to extend his fame to Korea, which he has visited several times previously.
``I definitely want to win in the eyes of everyone here in Korea,'' Sapp said. ``So that they can actually see what has made 'The Beast' popular these past nine years.''
Sapp said his life has been the epitome of every young boy's childhood dream, with the amount of traveling and opportunities he has come by.
The star reached into the entertainment industry during his spare time, and acted in several Hollywood motion pictures, done voice-overs for commercials and has a reality TV show contract with the Travel Channel, to begin filming in December. In an entrepreneurial ambition, he recently started a fighter recruitment agency online.
``I set no limits on anything that I do.''