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Lakva Sim-Mongolian Hero


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Lakva Sim was and is the first and so far I know only Mongolian boxer to capture a professional world title-and not one but two. Sim held the WBA belt both at 130 and 135, but each time only briefly. He burst onto the scene with a sensational stoppage victory against the undefeated Takanori Hatekayama, who reigned as the WBA super feather champion back then, only to lose the title 4 months later, rather controversially, to Jong Kwon Baek. Sim didn't have a long pro career, but a solid one, and lost only to elite fighters. This is his story. 

Born Lkhagva Dugarbaatar (baatar means hero in Mongolian) 10 March 1972 in Ulanbaatar, capital of Mongolia, he later shortened his name in order to be easier to pronounce for foreigners. His fighting alias was "Mongolian Blue Wolf" and he stands 171 cm or 5'7. Sim competed as amateur at first, but the best he could achieve were the 1991 and 1993 world championships quarter finals and the 1994 world cup quarter final exit. At the 1995 world championships, he was eliminated in the first round. He became a pro in December that year and immediately won the Pan Asian Boxing Association lightweight title by knocking out Max Karamoy in 4 rounds. He vacated the title to step down to super featherweight and then won the same title in his third fight, by UD against Singnum Chuwatana, in Bangkok, March 1996. 

After making two defences, both by ko, he was chosen to fight the WBA champion Yong Soo Choi of South Korean, 1 February 1997 in Seoul. He put up a very good fight but in the end lost by a close split decision. He drew in his next fight against Bong Chul Kim (31-1 at the time) and then scored 5 straight ko's before fighting for the WBA title again, now against Takanori Hatekayama, who dethroned Choi after 3 years of Choi's reign. It was on 27 June 1999 at Ariake Coloseum in Tokyo that Lakva Sim made history by stopping 22-0-2 Hatekayama by TKO5 and thus becoming the first Mongolian world boxing champion. Hatekayama was down three times before the stoppage, while the scorecards were divided going into round 5. However, only 4 months later, Sim would become the victim of "home refereeing" as well as judging, when he defended for the first time in Busan, South Korea, against the home favorite Jong Kwon Baek (20-0 at the time). He was deducted a point for illegal use of elbows and it wound up costing him the title, as the result would have been a draw without that deduction, but it turned into a split decision loss. 

He moved back up to 135 after this disappointment. After winning 5 more fights, he went back down to 130 to fight the new WBA champion  Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai, who was 36-2-1 and a physically strong and gifted fighter. The fight was held at the Provincial Stadium in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand and after it ended, two judges had the home champion unreasonably wide ahead while the third one scored it 116-112 for Nanthachai. It would be Sim's last fight at 130. His final success was when he captured the WBA title at 135 by stopping Miguel Callist of Panama and once again winning by TKO5 to become a champion, 10 April 2004 at Mandalay Resort. Only 3 months later, on 17 July, he went to Houston to fight their local hero, Juan "Baby Bull" Diaz  and lost to him by the scores of 116-112, 118-110 and 118-111. In his last fight, he stopped the solid Ebo Elder by TKO12 in what was billed as the WBA title eliminator, 16 September 2005. However, another title fight never came, for unknown reasons, and Sim ended retiring at the age of 33. His record is 21 wins, 18 by ko, 4 losses and 1 draw. At least 2 of those losses are questionable however. 

Lakva Sim was a warrior of the ring, always coming to slug it out and stop his opponent. His aggressive style can be compared to that of his compatriot Choi Tsevenpureev, where he would usually take his opponents apart with sudden and explosive attacks. He was also a rather clever fighter who knew how to pace himself and that is likely why he was never stopped. He was rather tall for a super feather and a lightweight and hit hard and could take a good punch also. His victory over Hatekayama speaks volumes, as Hatekayama would never get stopped again and also went on to become the world champion at 135 not long after that. However, having to fight away in a country like South Korea, which was ALL TOO KNOWN for having biased judges and sometimes referees also, it cut short his success in the ring and his first title reign of course. The loss to Diaz can be attributed to the fact that Diaz was simply a fresher fighter with much less mileage and was also very fast and aggressive and a good technical boxer. Sim was and remains a hero of Mongolian boxing, no doubt and is remembered fondly by boxing historians and fans who are old enough to remember his fights.



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