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Duk Koo Kim
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    (January 8, 1959-November 17, 1982)
    Born in Banamri, Korea (South)
    Pro record: 17-2-1 (8 wins by KO)
    Lost a WBA Lightweight title bout at Caesar's Palace to Boom Boom Mancini by TKO in the 14th round
    Minutes after the fight was stopped, collapsed into a coma and died four days later
    Subject of the Korean film 'Champion' (2002)
    Before the final bout, he wrote the message 'live or die' on the lampshade in his hotel room.
    Several reports mistranslated the phrase to the creepier 'kill or be killed.'
    He also had a mini-coffin brought to his hotel room.
    Three months after his death, his mother killed herself by drinking pesticide.
    Referee Richard Green, who reportedly blamed himself for Kim's death, also committed suicide (July 1, 1983).
    His father died when he was two.
    He said of growing up poor, 'My childhood dream was having a bowl of hot rice.'
    After his death, title fights were shortened from 15 to 12 rounds.
    His kidneys were donated for transplant.
    He left behind a pregnant fiance, who gave birth to their son eight months later.

Credit: C. Fishel

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