18 Famous Boxing Players in North Korea Best of All Time

Mike Pedersen

North Korea is renowned for its world-class athletes and martial arts practitioners, especially in the realm of boxing. Many of North Korea’s top athletes have achieved national and international success in the sport, due to their training, dedication, and sheer talent.

These athletes have been recognized as some of the best boxers in the world, with several Olympic medals, multiple world championship titles, and a multitude of national championships to their names.

We will be taking a look at some of the best boxers that North Korea has to offer, providing an overview of their achievements and contributions to the sport.

1. Masamori Tokuyama

Masamori Tokuyama is a professional boxer who competed in the sport from 1994 until 2006. He was born in Japan but is of Korean descent. During his career, he achieved a remarkable feat by winning the WBC Super-Flyweight Title on two separate occasions.

The first win came in 2000, and the second in 2006. Throughout his career, he fought many of the biggest names in the sport. He was a fan favorite for his aggressive fighting style.

He also had a reputation for being a very hard worker, always pushing himself to the limit in order to succeed. In 2006, Tokuyama retired from professional boxing. He had achieved a great deal of success in the sport and was widely respected by his peers and fans alike.

He is remembered as one of the greatest Japanese-born Korean boxers of all time.

2. Choi Hyun-mi

Choi Hyun-mi is an incredible example of professional excellence. She is a South Korean female professional boxer who has made a name for herself in the boxing world.

She has held two world titles, the WBA female super-featherweight title and the WBA female featherweight title, from 2008 to 2023 and 2013 respectively. This goes to show her impressive skill and dedication to her sport.

For fifteen years straight, she has been a champion in the boxing world, showing immense talent and determination. Her success in the ring is inspiring and a testament to her hard work and dedication to her craft.

3. Kim Song-guk

Kim Song-Guk is an accomplished North Korean boxer who made an impressive showing at the 2004 Summer Olympics. He competed in the featherweight division and was able to take home a silver medal for his efforts.

His accomplishment is even more impressive when considering the difficult training and competition conditions that athletes from North Korea face. Kim Song-Guk’s silver medal was the first Olympic medal won by North Korea since the 1992 Summer Olympics.

This was a historic achievement for the country which had been unable to capture a medal since then.

Kim Song-Guk’s success was also a big win for North Korean sports and created a wave of excitement and pride throughout the country. Kim Song-Guk has inspired a new generation of North Korean athletes to aim for Olympic success.

He has become a role model and a source of motivation for many young athletes in the country.

His feat has also raised the profile of North Korean sports and has helped to boost the morale of the nation. Kim Song-Guk’s success has been a major source of pride for North Korea and has helped to boost the nation’s morale.

His accomplishments have also served as an example of what can be achieved when athletes work hard and persevere in the face of adversity.

Kim Song-Guk’s silver medal is a symbol of hope and determination and serves as an example of what is possible for young athletes from all nations.

4. Kwak Hyok-ju

Kwak Hyok-ju is an accomplished North Korean boxer. He represented his country in the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. In the men’s light flyweight event, Kwak Hyok-ju competed against some of the best boxers from around the world.

His performance in the event was impressive, as he put up a valiant effort despite the odds being stacked against him. Despite not winning the event, Kwak Hyok-ju’s presence at the Olympics is a testament to his skill and dedication as a boxer.

He has gone on to become a respected figure in the boxing world, and his achievements serve as an inspiration to aspiring boxers everywhere.

5. Kim Un-chol

Kim Un-chol is a North Korean boxer who made history at the 2000 Summer Olympics. He competed in the light flyweight division and won the bronze medal, becoming the first North Korean boxer to ever win an Olympic medal.

His outstanding achievement was a monumental step for North Korean sports, as it opened the door for future athletes from the country to compete in the Olympics. Kim Un-chol was born in 1979 in the North Hamgyong Province of North Korea.

He began training in boxing at a young age and quickly established himself as one of the best boxers in the country. In 2000, he was chosen to represent North Korea in the Olympic Games, and he did not disappoint.

He battled his way through the competition and eventually earned the bronze medal, becoming the first North Korean boxer to ever win an Olympic medal.

Kim Un-chol’s success at the 2000 Olympics was an incredible achievement and an important milestone in North Korean sports history. His victory was celebrated not only in North Korea but around the world.

It marked the start of a new era for North Korean athletes, and it inspired many more to compete in the Olympics. Kim Un-chol’s legacy will forever be remembered in the hearts and minds of North Korean people.

6. Kim U-gil

Kim U-gil was a boxer from North Korea who made history in 1972 at the Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany. He competed in the light flyweight division and managed to win a silver medal. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to take home the gold.

In the final match of the tournament, Kim U-gil faced off against György Gedó from Hungary. Both fighters put in a great effort, but in the end, Kim U-gil lost on points. Although he didn’t win the gold, Kim U-gil’s achievement of a silver medal is still an incredible feat.

He was the first North Korean boxer to win a medal at the Olympics, and his performance set a precedent for other athletes from his nation to strive for excellence. Kim U-gil’s legacy lives on to this day, and he will always be remembered as a true champion.

7. Choe Chol-su

Choe Chol-su is a North Korean boxer who achieved great success at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. He won the gold medal in the men’s Flyweight category, one of the weight divisions in amateur boxing.

He was the first North Korean to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing, and his victory was celebrated by North Korea as a great victory for the country. The Flyweight category is one of the lighter-weight divisions in amateur boxing, and Choe Chol-su’s victory was remarkable considering the level of competition.

He was able to outbox his opponents with his superior technique and strength and was able to remain composed throughout the match.

Choe Chol-su also earned recognition as one of North Korea’s most talented athletes, and his accomplishments are still celebrated by many North Koreans today.

8. Ku Yong-jo


Ku Yong-jo was a talented boxer from North Korea who achieved success on the international stage. He made history in 1976 when he won the gold medal in the bantamweight division of the Summer Olympics in Montreal, Canada.

His victory came after a hard-fought final against American boxer Charles Mooney.

This was a momentous occasion for North Korea and a moment of pride for Ku Yong-jo and his country. The bantamweight division of the Summer Olympics is a grueling event that requires athletes to be in peak physical condition. Ku Yong-jo was no exception.

He trained hard, pushing himself to his limits to ensure that he could perform at his best on the day of the event. His determination and skill paid off when he emerged victorious from the final.

His win was a testament to his commitment and dedication to the sport. Ku Yong-jo’s victory was a major moment for North Korea, as it was one of the few times that an athlete from the country had won a gold medal in the Olympics.

This achievement put Ku Yong-jo in a special class of athletes and made him a hero in North Korea. It is an accomplishment that will be remembered for years to come.

9. Hoe Jong-jil

Hoe Jong-jil is an accomplished North Korean boxer. He first made an appearance on the international stage at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. In that event, he competed in the men’s bantamweight division.

Jong-jil was one of the few North Korean athletes to compete in that summer’s games, as the country had boycotted the 1984 and 1988 Summer Olympics.

Despite the relatively small representation of North Korea at the games, Jong-jil was able to make a name for himself with his impressive performance.

He managed to make it all the way to the quarterfinals of his weight class, an impressive feat for a young athlete from a nation with limited international exposure.

Unfortunately, he was eliminated in the quarterfinals, but his presence at the games was a testament to the strength and determination of North Korean athletes.

10. Jo Ryon-sik

Jo Ryon-sik is a boxer from North Korea who competed in the men’s flyweight event at the 1980 Summer Olympics. He was one of his nation’s representatives in the games, which took place in Moscow, Russia.

Ryon-sik’s event was the men’s flyweight, which is a boxing classification for fighters who weigh between 112 and 115 pounds. The event featured boxers from all over the world, including the United States, Russia, Cuba, and other countries.

Although Ryon-sik was not able to place in the top spots, his participation in the event shows his dedication to the sport and his country. He is likely still remembered in North Korea for his efforts at the Olympics.

11. Ryu Bun-hwa

Ryu Bun-hwa is a North Korean boxer who gained recognition for representing his country at the 1980 Summer Olympics. He was one of the few athletes from North Korea to compete in the international event.

He participated in the men’s light welterweight event, in which he faced stiff competition from the world’s top boxers. Despite his efforts, he was unable to advance to the final rounds, as he was eliminated in the early stages of the competition.

Nevertheless, his participation in the Olympics was an impressive feat for a North Korean boxer, and he is still remembered for his courage and determination. Despite his loss, he was praised for his efforts and is a source of national pride for North Korea.

12. O Song-chol

O Song-chol is an Olympic boxer from North Korea. He competed in the light-flyweight division of the 1992 Summer Olympics as a representative of his country. In his first match, O Song-chol was victorious against Anicet Rasoanaivo.

However, his second match ended in a defeat against Daniel Petrov. O Song-chol’s Olympic experience was a memorable one, as he was able to represent his country and compete at the highest level of his sport.

He showcased his boxing prowess in his first match, and although he was defeated in his second bout, it was still a remarkable experience for him.

His Olympic appearance was a successful one, as it demonstrated that North Korean athletes are capable of competing at an international level. O Song-chol’s Olympic performance was an inspiration to many North Korean athletes, showing them that they can achieve great success even in the face of adversity.

His success also showed that North Korea has the potential to produce world-class athletes, and can compete against the top nations in sports.

O Song-chol’s achievements will surely serve as motivation for future North Korean athletes and will remain a source of pride for the nation.

13. Kim Gil-nam

Kim Gil-nam is a North Korean boxer who had the opportunity to represent his country in the 1992 Summer Olympics. This Olympic Games were held in Barcelona, Spain and featured a variety of different sports.

Kim Gil-nam competed in the men’s light heavyweight event, which is a weight class that sits between the middleweight and heavyweight categories.

He was one of many athletes from North Korea to compete in the Olympics that year, and he was able to put his talents on display for the world to see.

Although he did not win a medal, he was still able to show his skills on the world stage and be a source of pride for his home country.

14. Ri Chol

Ri Chol is a boxer from North Korea. He was an athlete in the 1996 Summer Olympics, taking part in the lightweight event. This event is for athletes competing in the lightweight division, which is usually for boxers between the weights of 131-135 pounds.

Ri Chol was one of the many athletes from around the world who had the opportunity to compete in this prestigious event. He was one of the few North Korean athletes to participate, and his presence served as a reminder of the capabilities of the North Korean people.

Though Ri Chol did not win any medals at the Olympics, his participation was an important step forward for North Korean athletes.

15. Jong Jo-ung

Jong Jo-ung was a North Korean boxer who made it to the Olympics twice, first in 1976 and then again in 1980. At the 1980 Summer Olympics, he had a very memorable match against Rabani Ghulam of Afghanistan, whom he defeated.

Unfortunately, his success in the arena was short-lived, as he was ultimately defeated by Viktor Demyanenko of the Soviet Union. Despite this loss, his performance was still impressive.

He demonstrated both his strength and agility in the ring, and he was able to go toe-to-toe with some of the best boxers in the world. His hard work and dedication to the sport was a source of pride for his country, and it was an inspiring moment for anyone who witnessed it.

16. Jang Bong-mun

Jang Bong-mun was a North Korean boxer who made history by competing in the men’s middleweight event at the 1980 Summer Olympics. This event was held in Moscow, Russia, and was the first time that North Korea was represented in boxing at the Olympics.

Bong-mun was an amateur boxer and was known for his strong punching power and agility. He was a crowd favorite among North Korean fans, and his performance at the 1980 Olympics helped to solidify his legacy as one of the great boxers of his time.

Despite not being able to medal, his fight was seen as a symbol of North Korean pride, and his legacy still stands today.

17. Kim Hye-Song

Kim Hye-song is a remarkable athlete from North Korea. She is a world champion silver medallist in boxing and hails from South Hamgyong Province.

Her impressive feat of representing North Korea in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London in the flyweight division is a testament to her prowess and skill as a boxer. Kim Hye-song has achieved great success in her career and is a source of national pride for North Korea.

She has dedicated her life to the sport of boxing and has achieved international acclaim for her achievements.

Her participation in the London Olympics was a major milestone in her career and she was able to demonstrate her skill and talent on the world stage. Kim Hye-song’s success is an inspiration for all aspiring athletes in North Korea.

She has shown that hard work and dedication can lead to great success. She has proven that North Korean athletes can compete in international competitions and be successful.

Her story is an example of what can be achieved if you put your mind to it. Kim Hye-song’s success is a symbol of hope and progress for North Korea. Her accomplishments are an example of what can be achieved with hard work and determination.

Her story shows that anything is possible if you put in the effort and have the right attitude.

18. Jong Chol Pak

Pak Jong-chol is a North Korean boxer who competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics. He was entered in the Men’s flyweight division but unfortunately was defeated in the first round by Julião Henriques Neto from Brazil.

This was a huge disappointment for Pak Jong-chol who had been training and preparing for the Olympics for months before the event.

Despite the loss, he still had the honor of representing his country at such an important event and can take pride in being able to fight for his nation on an international stage.

His participation in the Olympics also opened the door for other North Korean boxers to compete in the future.

Pak Jong-chol’s loss in the first round of the Olympics may have been unfortunate, but his legacy of representing North Korea will live on and inspire other athletes to follow in his footsteps.


North Korea has a long and proud history of boxing and boasts some of the best boxers in the world. Their commitment to the sport is evident in their results at international competitions, having won a number of gold medals at the Olympics and other major events.

With the dedication of their coaches, athletes and fans, there is no doubt that North Korea will continue to produce world-class boxers in the future.

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Mike Pedersen

I'm a sports researcher and writer. I have been involved in sports writing for the last 10 years, so I can help you with your content writing needs. I have experience in sports writing and research as well as copywriting. I also have experience in producing content for digital platforms such as websites and social media channels. But my field of love is Boxing. LinkedIn