January 3, 2008

One the odder stories…

by Dan Bilicki In: Uncategorized

In late 2007, a boxer from South Korea successfully defended his WBO intercontinental flyweight championship against a Thai foe. Now, Choi Yo-sam is dead. Almost immediately after being awarded the win on points, Choi collapsed and went into a coma. Yesterday he was declared brain-dead and his organs were donated for transplants.

After seeing the photos on the wire and needing something off-beat to run for that day’s paper, with our tongues in our cheeks we ran a picture of Choi being attended to in the ring without knowing the severity of his condition. A regrettable move.

But really, how sensational of a story is it that he died having won his fight and his title? At you least, you’d have to think his last memory was a very pleasant one, hoisting his championship belt in the air for his fans to see.

A situation like this should also warrant a boxing-is-dangerous column, but we all should know the health risks of being punched in the head and we all know that boxers have to go through physicals before any fight to be certified. Deaths like Choi’s are rare, but a harsh reminder that anything can happen.

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