North Korean Defector Wins World Boxing Title

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Boxer Choi Hyun-mi, who escaped North Korea in 2004, won the World Boxing Association’s women’s super featherweight title after beating Fujin Raika of Japan by unanimous decision in Incheon, South Korea on Thursday.

Defeating Raika gave Choi her second career world title belt, but her first in the super featherweight category. After becoming the WBA women’s featherweight champion in May, Choi moved up to the higher weight category. It only took her three months at the higher weight class to claim the world title. She has eight wins and one draw since turning pro in 2007.

Born in Pyongyang in 1990, Choi defected to Southeast Asia nine years ago, before permanently relocating to South Korea.

She has been training under former men’s world light flyweight boxing champion Chang Jung-koo, who defended his title 16 times from 1983 to 1988 to set a then-world record.