Doctors said today there was little doubt they would have to cut off the artificial life-support system of Korean boxer Duk-Koo Kim, brain-damaged in a weekend title fight with lightweight champion Ray (Boom Boom) Mancini.
With no relatives available to consult, the decision was left to the fighter's doctors. "Someone has to be strong enough to make decisions in situations like this," said Dr. Lonnie Hammargren, who Saturday removed a massive blood clot from Kim's brain.
Doctors at Desert Springs Hospital said they could find no sign of brain life.
Kim fought Mancini nearly even for 13 rounds Saturday before the World Boxing Association lightweight champion slammed him to the canvas with a right in the 14th round of the nationally televised fight.
Hammargren said specialized computer tests when Kim's name was called showed the nerve in his ear was alive, "but beyond that there is nothing."
Kim's father abandoned him when he was very young and it had been reported that his mother was dead. But this morning, a woman identifying herself as Kim's mother told reporters in Seoul that she wanted to fly to the United States to be with her son, "but it is difficult for me because I have no money for the trip."
Later, the South Korean Ministry of Sports said it would sponsor the trip by Mrs. Yang Sun-yo, 66, so that she could be with her son. A ministry spokesman said she would be accompanied by another son and the boxer's half-brother, Kim Kun-young.
However, Hammargren said, "I have been informed by a representative of the Korean government who is with Kim's manager that Kim's mother is dead. I have seen the death certificate. I don't know who the rest of these people are."
Roy Tennison, executive secretary of the Nevada Athletic Commission, said Kim's $20,000 purse was to be released to Hyun Chi Kim, the fighter's manager.