Earlier today we got the first Korean card of 2020, and it was a small one from Korea, in a gym that seem to hold about 25 fans. Although a small show, it was a significant one, with a trio of Korean Boxing M (KBM) title eliminators on it, involving some of the most promising young Korean talent.
The show opened with Tae Woong Jung (5-3-2, 4) [정태웅] taking a decision over Filipino veteran Michael Landero (19-16-4, 8). To his credit Landero wasn't there to make up the numbers, and fought like a man trying to pick up his 20th career win. He was however a touch too slow and Jun simply out worked him, in what was an entertaining show opener. It is worth noting that whilst Landero was there to win, he had missed weight by over 3lbs yesterday and was forced to wear bigger gloves than Jung as a punishment.
The second bout was another between a youngster and a veteran as Jae Hyun Jo (4-1-3, 1) [ 조재현] out pointed the slippery and experienced Chul Hyun Lim (5-15-2, 3) [임철현 ]. Through out the bout Jo, who went 0-1-3 in his first 4 bouts, was busier and picking the better shots but to his credit Lim was crafty, and landed some very nice counters. This was generally fought at a slower pace than we're used to see in Korea but heated up nicely and the final round saw Lim go for it. A good win for Jo that he will learn a lot from even if he didn't really look sensational.
One man who did take his chance to shine was teenager Da Won Gang (4-0, 2) [강다원], who stopped Jin Soo Kim (3-3-1, 3) [김진수] in the first round of their 140lbs KBM title eliminator. Gang seemed to have some issues with the southpaw stance of Kim but rolled forward regardless, dropping Kim twice in the opening round to force the stoppage. The performance wasn't flawless but the result is exactly what Gang would have wanted, and a great way to kick off 2020 following his tournament triumph in "Battle Royal" last year.
A second title eliminator saw the talented and very promising Sung Min Yuh (4-0) [유성민] take a decision over the gutsy but limited Se Yul Yang (3-5-2, 1) [양세열], in a bout at 154lbs. Through out the bout Yang seemed to want to win, he was the man with the will, but he was well and truly out of his depth. Yuh went through the motions, and regularly seemed like he was playing to the scattering of fans at the gym. Yuh's work rate was awful, his defense sloppy and his effort was limited. However when Yuh let his hands go he showed flashes of brilliance, with fantastic uppercuts on the inside, great counters and very classy body shots. It seems very clear that Yuh is a natural talent, as you'd expect given he won "Battle Royal" last year, but he needs to change his attitude when his competition steps up.
The show ended with a second eliminator at 154lbs. This saw Yoo Seung Jun (7-1) [전유승], who lost to Sung Min Yuh in the "Battle Royal" final last year, take on Seung Hee Lee (4-7, 1) [이승희]. After 6 rounds we went to the score-cards in what seemed like a close one, with Lee the much busier man, but Jun landing the better shots, and showing better ring craft. In the end the decision went to Jun, paving the way for a rematch with Yuh for the KBM title. If we're being honest Lee gave Jun a real test here, and Lee would have made for a very interesting fight for Yuh, give his performance on the show.
Yuh Vs Jun II could be very good, but it could also be a very frustrating bout if neither man can find the intensity to show what they can do on a consistent basis through a fight. Both are talented, but neither showed the will of their opponents tonight, and that was a shame.
(Image from the weigh in between Gang and Kim courtesy of Boxing M)
The first Asian show of 2020 is set to take place tomorrow in Korea thanks to Boxing M, sadly however it's not going to go ahead without at least 1 hiccup.
KBM have revealed that the proposed main event bout for the card, which would have been an 8 rounder between local hopeful Nam Jun Lee (10-6-3, 4) [이남준] and Filipino fighter Juanito Paredes (8-6-1, 3) has now been cancelled.
The full reason for the cancellation hasn't been made totally clear, though those working for KBM have stated that it was Lee who cancelled the bout.
With the cancellation it leaves the show with just 5 bouts, though 3 of those are title KBM eliminators, and include two of Korea's brightest young fighters.
One of those is 140lb fighter Da Won Gang (3-0, 1) [강다원], who takes on Jin Soo Kim (6-7-1, 3) [김진수] in a 6 round bout, with the winner set to get a title fight later in the year. The 19 year old Gang has been rated very highly by our Korean sources, who have raved about the youngster's skills from seeing him in training. Although yet to truly shine in professional ranks he did win the KBM "Battle Royal" in 2019 and is certainly being moved well for such a young novice.
The other of those youngsters is Light Middleweight Sung Min Yuh (3-0) [유성민], who looks to build on his success from 2019 by facing Se Yul Yang (3-4-2, 1) [양세열] in an eliminator. If Yuh wins he will likely set up a rematch with Yoo Seung Jun (6-1) [전유승] battle against Seung Hee Lee (4-6, 1) [이승희] for the KBM title later in 2020. Notably Yuh beat Jun in the Battle Royal final last November, so there is an interesting sub story at play here, if they two do rematch later this year.
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