Roy Englebrecht, the Orange County fight promoter who has tossed his hat into the ring (no, silly, the political ring) for Newport Beach City Council, has just secured the Korean-American vote.
That's because he has signed what is billed as “the Southland's first Korean-American boxer” to a promotional agreement.
He's Cerritos 23-year-old Daniel Kim, a junior welterweight who makes his pro debut on the Oct. 3 Fight Club OC card at The Hangar at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa.
The 2012 Southern California Blue N Gold Champion and a 2013 UC Irvine graduate becomes the fourth fighter under contact with Englebrecht (the others being Alexander Flores, who is 13-0, Dwain Victorian, who is 2-0, and MMA fighter Curtis Millender, who is 3-0).
Because all Englebrecht's fighters are from Southern California, Kim “was a natural fit,” the promoter says in a Fight Club OC statement. “It also didn't hurt that Daniel is a college graduate, has great roots in the Southern California Korean community, has matinee idol looks, a strong spiritual faith, and can fight.”
He first stepped into a boxing gym in 2010 and is now being trained by Alan Kemp, who must prepare Kim for his first bout against Devonte Donaldson out of Long Beach.
“Turning pro is something I'm really excited about, but I haven't accomplished anything yet, I measure myself by my success in the ring,” Kim says in the statement. “I feel very fortunate to be signing with Roy Englebrecht, as I have heard nothing but compliments from everyone about the way Roy's fighters are taken care of and the quality of the shows he puts on. He has a great staff, and I'm truly fortunate to be launching my pro career with such a talented and dedicated team.”
He also notes that by stepping into the ring, he's stepping outside the cultural norms and social expectations placed on Korean Americans.
“Growing up, I was left with a strong impression that pursuing a future as an athlete was impossible or a waste of time,” he observes. “Professionally boxing as a Korean American allows me to challenge these cultural and social sentiments while proudly representing Korean and other Asian Americans in a domain where we are vastly underrepresented and often taken lightly.”
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Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.