Masamori Tokuyama

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Masamori Tokuyama
Statistics
Real name Chang-soo Hong
Weight(s) Super flyweight
Nationality South Korea South Korean
(Born in  Japan; Represented  North Korea)
Born (1974-09-17) September 17, 1974 (age 43)
Tokyo, Japan
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 36
Wins 32
Wins by KO 8
Losses 3
Draws 1
No contests 0

Masamori Tokuyama (徳山 昌守, Tokuyama Masamori, born Chang-Soo Hong, Korean: 홍창수, Hanja: 洪昌守, on September 17, 1974 in Tokyo, Japan) is a retired professional boxer in the super flyweight (115 lb) division. His professional record was 32-3-1 (8 KOs). He is a former WBC and lineal super flyweight champion.

Because of his affiliation with North Korea and his experience traveling to the country, he had been banned from entering South Korea and the United States. However, he changed his nationality to South Korean in February, 2007.[1][2][3] He studied Korean language at Yonsei University in South Korea in March, 2007.

Biography[edit]

Tokuyama was born in Tokyo, Japan as a third generation Zainichi Korean. He made his professional debut in 1994, and challenged the Japanese Flyweight Title twice in 1997, but was unsuccessful both times. He won the vacant OPBF Super Flyweight Title in 1999, and defended it twice. His first world title match was against South Korean fighter In-Joo Cho in 2000, whom he beat by unanimous decision over 12 rounds, becoming the first North Korean to win a boxing world title. He defended his WBC and Lineal Super Flyweight titles eight times before suffering a stunning 1st-round knockout loss to Katsushige Kawashima in 2004.[4] Tokuyama returned after a one-year lay-off to fight Kawashima on July 18, 2005. Tokuyama was knocked down in the last round, but dominated Kawashima for the rest of the fight, regaining his title by a 3-0 decision. He defended his title on February 27, 2006, beating José Navarro by unanimous decision. He relinquished his title after this fight and announced his intention to retire from boxing, but later announced that he would continue his career if he could fight Hozumi Hasegawa for the WBC Bantamweight title. Tokuyama finalized his retirement on March 14, 2007, since Hasegawa declined his challenge for the bantamweight title. Tokuyama cited lack of motivation as the major reason for his retirement.

Tokuyama and North Korea[edit]

Zainichi Koreans either tried to conceal their roots by adopting Japanese names, or only used their real names to show that they were Korean.[5] However, Tokuyama did neither, using both his Japanese name (Masamori Tokuyama) and real name (Chang-soo Hong), while declaring that he is a Zainichi Korean. He has often taken politics inside the ring, carrying a North Korean flag in his entrances and wearing trunks labeled "One Korea." Many of Tokuyama's fans regard his performances as the emergence of a new generation of Zainichi Koreans, who are not afraid of their heritage, while others negatively view Tokuyama as using sports to promote a political agenda.

Tokuyama visited North Korea in 2001, and reportedly made a statement vowing allegiance to the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-il, thanking the leader for his success as a boxer.[citation needed] In 2002, former Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi made a visit to North Korea, which revealed the kidnappings of several Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 80s by North Korea. News of the kidnappings received huge media coverage in Japan, and Tokuyama's website was spammed relentlessly with abusive messages when it was rumored that Tokuyama commented: "They (the kidnapped Japanese citizens) might actually be living pretty happily in North Korea."[citation needed]

He has often used the North Korean national anthem as his entrance theme.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "N.Korean Champ Becomes S. Korean". Korean Times hosted by Empas News. 2007-03-18. Retrieved 2008-01-02. 
  2. ^ "Former pro-Pyongyang boxing champion gains Korean citizenship". KOIS . 2007-03-18. Retrieved 2008-01-02.  External link in |publisher= (help)[dead link]
  3. ^ "The former WBC World Champion, Hong Chang-Soo "Korean Boxing terms are too difficult"" (in Korean). The Hankyoreh. 2007-08-14. Retrieved 2007-10-09. 
  4. ^ "Masamori Tokuyama - Lineal Jr. Bantamweight Champion". The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia. 
  5. ^ Official Site profile.gif Archived December 16, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]

Achievements
Preceded by
In-Joo Cho
Lineal Super Flyweight Champion
August 27, 2000–June 28, 2004
Succeeded by
Katsushige Kawashima
WBC Super Flyweight Champion
August 27, 2000–June 28, 2004
Preceded by
Katsushige Kawashima
WBC Super Flyweight Champion
July 18, 2005–December 6, 2006
Retired
Succeeded by
Cristian Mijares
Interim champ promoted
Lineal Super Flyweight Champion
July 18, 2005–December 6, 2006
Retired
Vacant
Title next held by
Vic Darchinyan