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Benvenuti and Jones, robbed here in '66, '88

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By Richard Pennington

My most recent column (Feb. 1-2) contained a reference to Nino Benvenuti of Italy having lost a controversial boxing match to Korea's Kim Ki-soo at Jangchung Gymnasium, June 25, 1966.

Here is what happened. Benvenuti, the world light-middleweight champion, fell behind in the early rounds. Kim had tired by the 10th, however, and Benvenuti seemed to have the fight in hand. After the 13th, things got weird.

One of the ropes mysteriously broke, and 10 minutes were needed to repair it ― long enough for Kim to catch his breath and regroup. The bell rang faintly for the 14th. As Benvenuti sat on his stool with a towel over his head, Kim raced across the ring and gave him a solid left to the nose! Referee Nick Pope issued a warning but not a disqualification.

Benvenuti, thoroughly dazed, jumped up and resumed fighting, but Kim was able to hold on for a split decision. The next day, a convertible drove Kim through the streets of Seoul as gleeful crowds cheered the new champ.

I can't decide which was worse ― the previously undefeated Benvenuti losing his title under such dubious circumstances or Park Si-hun "beating" Roy Jones, Jr. for the light-middleweight gold medal in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

The problems........

© The Korea Times