An excerpt from Kriegel’s new book, on the fatal fight between Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and Duk-koo Kim, and 30 years later, how it changed both families: 

In early November, Young-mi found herself on a second-floor balcony at Incheon International Airport. In observing that ancient Asian prohibition against fighters taking lovers, she could not be seen with Duk-koo’s modest entourage, or by the gaggle of reporters following them as they boarded their flight to the United States for the Mancini fight. Her fiancé had made news with intemperate remarks that he would beat Mancini, that only one of them would return home alive.

‘Either he dies,’ Duk-koo said, ‘or I die.’

And now Young-mi was forced to watch without saying goodbye. She could not so much as wave. Even as tears streamed down her face, the dance had begun, the ballet of blood and light in her tummy. She was pregnant with Duk-koo’s son.

“A Step Back.” — Mark Kriegel, New York Times

More on boxing