The Korean boxing scene is a mess, we've mentioned it numerous times in the past. It's a butt of jokes and an easy target to slate.
Thankfully however it's not all bad and this past Friday the KBF ended their national tournament which crowned 8 Rookies as the "Rookie of the Year" and helped give those 8 novices a huge step up the proverbial boxing ladder.
Unfortunately as these men fought solely under the KBF banner none of the bouts are included on the Boxrec.com database, their records are a mystery to us and in many ways so to are the names. We've attempted to transcribe the names of the winners. If we've butchered anyone's name we're truly sorry and will welcome
From what we understand the winners were-
Bae-Yo Han (Bantamweight)
Jae-Hyun Kim (Featherweight)
Seung-Hoon Lee (Super Featherweight)-Lee was also the MVP of the tournament
Yug-Dong Hun (Lightweight)
Dong-Hee Kim (Light Welterweight)
Seo In Deok (Welterweight)
Chu-Hon Kim (Light Middleweight)
Ju Se Oh (Middleweight)
We would like to say well done to the winners and wish them the best in their future fights. We also need to, again, say it's a shame that boxrec don't include fights fought under the KBF, even if they were to just list them as "unsanctioned".
(Image courtesy of koreaboxing.or.kr)
Earlier today boxing fans in Osaka had the chance to see two Japanese world champions defend their titles. They were WBO Atomweight champion Nao Ikeyama (16-3-1, 4) and WBO female Minimumweight champion Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (6-1-2, 3).
Following their bouts the promoter of the show, Yasushi Hirayama the chairman of Futur, announced his plans for the two champions. The plans are unique and very different to almost anything we've heard in regards to professional boxing.
Hirayama hinted that the plans for the champions is to have them defend their belts in Sri Lanka in July. If the plans come to fruition they would be the first ever world title fight in the countries history, in fact it would the first professional boxing show in Sri Lanka's history.
The land now known as Sri Lanka has hosted boxing in the past, with a show as recently as November 1st 1942. Back then the country was known as the Dominion of Ceylon. Since the the country has gone through various changes, including the name change and gaining independence from the United Kingdom.
From our records the most notable title fights in the land is that is currently Sri Lanka have taken place more than 80 years ago. In 1931 Colombo hosted a bout for the Ceylon Middleweight title, that saw Gunboat Jack defeat George Wells in the 2nd round whilst 31 years previous Artie Tully defeated Jim Holloway in Diyatalawa for the South African Lightweight title.
We're not totally sure why Hirayama is talking about Sri Lanka though we do like the idea of boxing growing from East Asia into South Asia, where there really isn't much of a boxing scene.
India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh have more than 1.4 billion people living in the area and with an untapped talent pool there is the potential for major revolution in boxing if the countries can be attracted to the sport. Fingers crossed that will happen one day and if Hirayama has seen the potential there is every chance that Futur will manage to make a foothold there before anyone else.
To some fight fans "age is just a number" to others however it's something more. Age defines where you are in terms of your career. A youngster is beginning their card, a fighter in their 20's or 30's maybe in their prime, but a fighter in their 40's is thought to be on the decline. We hope no one has told WBO Atomweight champion Nao Ikeyama (16-3-1, 4) that she's supposed to be past it.
The 45 year old Ikeyama returned to the ring earlier today for her first fight of the year as she attempted to record the second defense of her world title. Ikeyama was up against 24 year old Norj Guro (7-4-1, 4) a poor fighter but a much, much younger one. In fact it was Guro who was supposedly in her prime.
Early on things were relatively competitive though it wasn't long until Ikeyama began to set the pace, fighting fast, relying on her amazing stamina and forcing the action. Guro tried to answer back but found herself being swarmed all too often in bout that made the 45 year old look like an energetic teenager not a woman in her 40's.
By the end of round 4 the fight was essentially 1-way traffic with Guro being forced to cover up and hope to take advantages of the few moments where Ikeyama did stop punching. They were few and far between.
At the end of the fight there was no drama in regards to the scorecards with all the judges having the bout a clear win for Ikeyama with scores of 99-91, 98-92 and 98-92. IT was a clear and decisive win for the champion who really made a statement with a dominant and impressive victory.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
On paper any world title defence is good. Not all fighters reach the pinnacle and even few get to stay there for more than just a fleeting moment. Sadly however some title defenses aren't as good as others, and they certainly aren't as happy as others.
Many of the most disappointing defences come courtesy of headclashes, accidental fouls or issues outwith the typical rules of boxing.
That disappointment was a feeling felt by WBO female Minimumweight champion Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (6-1-2, 3) who made the first defence of her earlier today, though was left with a huge gash on her head following a brutal headclash with Filipino challenger Jessebelle Pagaduan (7-1-1, 4).
The bout had hardly began when the fighters clashed but it was clear that the action wasn't going to carry on. The cut on Ikehara's forehead opened up almost instantly and bled quickly.
The 2" cut is said to have required 10 stitches after the fight.
Although the bout was a painful one for Ikehara she managed to keep her title by virtue of a technical draw. It's not an ideal outcome but it's better than losing the title.
After the fight it was hinted that the two may have a rematch later in the year with the inconclusive and disappointing ending being frustrating not just for the fans but for the fighters who were both hoping to show their skills. Hopefully a rematch will allow them to do just that.
(Image courtesy of daily.co.jp)
Earlier this week we reported the death of young boxer Kaito Hattori who passed away after a battle with leukemia. On Thursday Kaito had his funeral with more than 400 friends and family attending to see off the tragic 17 year old.
Whilst Kaito wasn't a big name fighter his death has touched a lot of people. Whilst not all of them were able to make their way Abeno-Ku, Osaka many did and it was clear to see how much the death of the young man had effected them.
Among those attending with his former manager Taisei Marumoto, who looked to have taken Kaito's death incredibly hard. Although massively upset Marumoto tried to put on a brave face whilst reading condolences, including a message that essentially said "I won't say goodbye because Kaito continues to live in my heart". Although trying hard he was unable to fend off tears of losing someone who had been like a son to him.
Another notable person who was clearly effected was close friend Riku Kanou who was described as being Kaito's best friend at the Taisei gym. The two men were so close that they even debuted on the same show, travelling to the Philippines together and gave each other support ahead of their first bouts.
(Image courtesy of daily.co.jp)
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