My Lovely Boxer – K-drama Episode 3 Recap & Review

The Signing Of The Contract

My Lovely Boxer episode 3 picks up where we left off, with Kwon-sook and Tae-young having an intense conversation in the rain. Kwon-sook is surprised that Tae-young wants her to throw the match; she questions if this is the only way to end her misery. Tae-young insists he will help her end her complicated relationship with boxing. However, Kwon-sook is sceptical and asks if he even knows her well enough to do something she has been unable to do.

She asks if he knows why she started boxing, quit and ran for the hills. Tae-young admits he is clueless and asks her to help him learn everything about her. He promises when it is all over, they will run away together. He begs her to trust him. Kwon-sook is curious about why Tae-young is set on helping her, and he replies that the timing is right. She wanted to end her career for good, and he needed a boxer like her who wouldn’t ask questions. He is sure she will sign the contract. She promises to think about it.

She calls him later that evening after doing online research on him. Even though his reputation is murky, she is contemplating signing the contract. She asks if she can trust him, and he is silent for a while. In his mind, he is thinking about how he let Hee-won down. He finally answers her, saying she can trust him. She asks for more time to decide though. After the phone call, Tae-young continues to watch the documentary on Kwon-sook, hoping to learn more about her. 

The following morning, Kwon-sook heads back to the kindergarten to collect her stuff. She is sad to leave, but most of the teachers are supportive.  Before leaving, she gets the courage to ask Jae-min about his feelings for her. He is adamant that he can’t date a female boxer but is willing to hire her back after three months when she quits boxing for good. She is hurt by his rejection but understands him. 

Through a flashback, we go back to 2017, when  Kwon-sook was shooting her documentary. She confesses that all she does is boxing and studying. She has no friends, and most of her time is dedicated to training. For a high school, she seems lonely. However, her dad doesn’t care about this. His main focus is training her to be an animal in the boxing ring. He never allows her to show any weakness. 

Through the training videos, we can see how hard and abusive he was towards her. He made boxing seem like a life-and-death situation; kill or be killed. Kwon-sook spent most of her time after training with her dad, nursing her injuries and crying.  It is understandable why  Kwon-sook is having a hard time deciding on going back. She ignores Tae-young’s calls and messages, forcing him to show up on her doorstep. 

They bicker again, and Kwon-sook says she won’t sign the contract. She insists on going for a snack run and gets Tae-young to buy her favourite doughnuts. He is not happy about her eating habits and continues to nag her. She blames him for losing her job. Tae-young says he dropped the lawsuit and will not use it to threaten her. 

Her response to his request is that she will not return to the ring. She would rather go through the misery for another five years than go back. She hates boxing more than dying. After a while, she agrees to box again and bursts into tears. Tae-young asks why she is sad, and she says it is because she does not want to be a boxer. She hates it so much but does not think it will ever go away if she keeps on running. The thought terrifies her. 

On her way to meet Tae-young, Kwon-sook receives a visit from Soo-yeon. Soo-yeon has a different plan in mind. She wants to make Kwon-sook a star player like Mayweather to recognise Boxing as a professional career in Korea and help boxers make more money. Most boxers make barely enough to survive, and most are forced to keep side jobs. Kwon-sook hates Soo-yeon’s plans for her future and says she wants none of those things. As she stands to leave, Soo-yeon mentions something about Tae-young.

Tae-young was Soo-yeon’s agent in the past, and he uses the same lines he used to convince Kwon-sook on all athletes. He promises to take them where they want to go and then does whatever he wants. Elsewhere, Tae-young is searching for Kwon-sook since she did not show up to their meeting.

Regardless of what Soo-yeon tells Kwon-sook, she goes to meet with Tae-young. She is excited about their agreement. She tells Tae-young that she has decided to trust him, and he will die by her hands if he betrays her. Kwon-sook arrives at Sports and Passion and signs the contract to win the championship.

Tae-young takes Kwoon-sook to live in his apartment, which is closer to the gym. Her new coach is Choi Ho-hoong, a former lightweight champion in Asia. She is to train from nine to two in the afternoon, with reporters recording her training. Even though she dislikes being in the public eye, she has to since it is in her contract. Realizing how fit and talented Kwon-sook is, Tae-young and Ho-hoong start to regret rigging the game. However, Tae-young remembers his promise since Kwon-sook despises boxing. For the first match, Tae-young fixes a bout between Kwon-sook and Jo A-ra. 

Tae-young announces to the reporters that Kwon-sook needs to lose 6kg to qualify for her bantamweight, utterly embarrassing her. She starts to be keen on her diet and exercise after this. Later, Tae-young visits the café where Jo A-ra works part-time and tells her about the match he is fixing. He gives her his card and requests a call-back. 

Elsewhere, Han Jae-min watches Kwon-sook’s boxing videos online. Jae-min’s girlfriend breaks up with him since she wants to settle while he is never serious about his life. He ponders her words as he heads back to Hodong kindergarten. He finds that his mother has asked the teachers to move his desk. He tries to move the desk back to the office. The children saw him struggling, and they laughed at him in comparison to Kwon-sook, who could move the totem poles by herself. 

Jo A-ra turns down the invitation to a boxing match with Kwon-sook. Later, at an underground garage, Lee Chul-yong confronts him about Kwon-sook. He gives Tae-young his contacts and asks him to call anytime Kwon-sook is in trouble. He also tells him that when Kwon-sook becomes quiet, stops being rebellious, and is suddenly obedient, he should know that she no longer wants boxing, and Tae-young should let her go. If he fails to, Chul-yong will deal with him. 

At the end of the episode, Jae-min visits Kwon-sook at the gym to apologize for saying that boxing was lame. He tells her he has been watching her training videos and enjoys them; hence, what he said is hurtful. He sets the timer for five minutes so as not to distract her from training, and when they are done, he bids her goodbye. He requests that she spare five minutes the next time he visits her. He trips, and Kwon-sook rushes to hold him. Tae-young arrives to see them in this lovey-dovey position. 

The Episode Review

The episode reveals that even though Tae-young has a cold demeanour and is disliked by athletes for always doing whatever he wants, he is a man of his word. He promises to help Kwon-sook retire from boxing and will most likely make that promise come true.

It also gives a background into the lives of Korean Boxers. Unlike in Western countries, boxing is declining and is a side job for most players. Learning this makes viewers wish Kwon-sook would not have to participate in a rigged game and plan to quit boxing. However, it seems there’s some dark trauma from her experiences with boxing, which led to the loss of passion. The series also introduces some romantic feelings between Jae-min and Kwon-sook. How will Tae-young respond to the new development? 

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