‘My Lovely Boxer’ Wonders What It Really Means To Win

Lee Kwon-suk is such a gifted boxer that she dares to take on—and even defeat—the so-called strongest man in the world. Kwon-suk, played by Kim So-hye, is so talented that she wins several boxing medals and her sudden rise in the boxing world makes her a media darling. Then, mysteriously, she changes her name and disappears.

Quite a few sports fans and reporters want to find her. Not sports agent Kim Tae-young, no matter how much his colleagues ask. Why pursue a sports figure who does not want to be found, he reasons. Tae-young, played by Lee Sang-yeob, is known as “the mortician” agent since he wraps up dead sports careers. He tries to arrange lucrative advertising deals so that retiring sports figures have some income once they stop playing. Sometimes he forces his clients to retire before they’re ready, so they can make the best deals, which he naturally gets a commission from. Money isn’t everything in life, he tells players, but it makes everything better.

People see him as cold-hearted, but he’s being pragmatic. It’s rare that a sports career lasts more than a decade. Most players retire around the age of 34 and many go on to work at other jobs in the industry. That was the case with Tae-young, who used to be a baseball player.

As an agent he really cares for his clients, particularly baseball pitcher Kim Hui-won, who he idolized when he was younger. Unfortunately, Hui-won, played by Choi Jae-woong, is losing his competitive edge and may soon have to stop playing. Since he’s desperate for cash, Hui-won gets involved with an illegal sports gambling venue that wants him to fix a game. That’s one thing Tae-young would never do and he offers to take the responsibility for Hui-won not throwing a game. That’s when this drama takes a dark and dangerous turn. By assuming his client’s debt, he suddenly owes some powerful people a lot of money and that threatens not only his hard-won career, but his life and the safety of his family.

One way to get that money might be to find Kwon-suk, the boxer who desperately does not want to be found. And he must also convince her to return to boxing. There’s a prize for finding her and a commission if she plays. There might not be any other way for Tae-young to gather such a huge amount of money. It’s the right choice for him, but is it the right choice for her?

Lee Sang-yeob does a solid job of acting in this drama, creating a believably conflicted character in Tae-young, one viewers will want to see triumph against those who would rig the game. Lee recently appeared in the dramas Eve, On The Verge of Insanity and Once Again. Kim So-hye, a former member of the k-pop group I.O.I., recently appeared in the dramas Her Bucket List, How To Buy A Friend and Best Chicken. My Lovely Boxer is based on the 2014 novel Soonjungboxer Leekwonsook by Chu Jong-Nam. The KBS2 drama can be seen in the US on Viki.com.

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