Imagine if North Korea was able to produce a world-class boxer and release that fearsome figure into the international sports arena. It would allow for a much more powerful PR punch than whining about lightning strikes at a women’s World Cup of soccer.
Alas, it appears the Hermit Kingdom is not quite there yet. After traveling to Pyongyang for a July 21st–26th boxing clinic sponsored by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), India’s national boxing coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu (pictured, below left) shared this evaluation:
“What I could gauge there was that North Korea has some excellent boxers but they do need good mentors to guide them.”
Hmmm… When Laura Ling and Euna Lee were held captive in 2009, I wrote a number of pieces here about the idea of a major sports figure like Michael Jordan being offered up as a potential U.S. envoy. Sandhu‘s pearl of wisdom suggests a possible new avenue for North Korea–U.S. diplomacy in the wake of this week’s “constructive” New York talks.
I think it’s time to consider sending Mike Tyson to North Korea. Iron Mike could show these North Korean pugilists a thing or two, host a Pyongyang elite screening of The Hangover, and keep the Manhattan goodwill going. But if this trip were to come together, Tyson would definitely need a new Phil Collins theme song. “Two Hearts,” or perhaps “Against All Odds.”