In February we were in touch with Korean promoter Andy Kim of AK Promotions. Mr Kim seemed frustrated by the IBF at the time and stated that he was going to take his fighters over the Thailand. At the time we expected that the plans were going to be something that would take a while to really get going however Mr Kim has amazed us by the speed in which he has worked and already he is starting to get his guys into Thailand where they are picking up wins, albeit at lower levels.
Just two days before our conversation with Mr Kim we had seen one of his fighters, Myung Goo Yuh, take out Joan Imperial in a very 1-sided bout. This past weekend we saw Yuh return to Thailand where he stopped Richie Behec and retained his PABA Flyweight title.
Just a few days after the Yuh/Behec fight we saw the Thai debut of Hyun Woo Yu, a promising 25 year old Light Welterweight. Yu made made an almost instant impact in Thailand stopping the over-matched Erawan Sithkongnapa in just 113 seconds. He's now set to return to Thailand in April where he will fight against Thai based Italian Ricardo Redbluegym.
According to the AK Promotions website the Yu/Ricardo bout will be one of two bouts featuring an AK fighter with the other fight being a WBC Asian Boxing Council silver Featherweight title fight featuring the talented Jaesung Lee, who will be battling against Jaoquim Mahe. Lee, who is well known for his memorable 2014 blood bath with Takuya Watanabe, is an extremely good fighter and will know a win here could see him gaining a WBC world ranking and putting a loss, late last year, to Shingo Wake well behind him.
Whilst it's a shame that the Korean boxing scene is still dead domestically we're excited to see Korean fighters popping up in Thailand and hopefully this will help raise their profile and move them towards bigger and better fights. It may only take one outstanding Korean fighter to really reinvigorate the counties passion for boxing and fingers crossed that we see that fighter sooner rather than later.
Andy Kim speaks out about cancelled Korean show, unhappy about IBF Asia
South Korean promotional outfit AK Promotions have announced that their show planned for March 1st has unfortunately been cancelled just 2 weeks before the fighters were set to step in the ring.
Whilst we've not been given the specific reason for the show, at least not in English, we need to admit that it's a disappointing announcement and a shame for the men who were supposed to be on the card.
The men include IBF Asia Featherweight champion Takuya Watanabe (23-5-1, 11), his opponent, BoonJoon Suk (8-1-2, 2)* as well IBF Asia Super Featherweight champion Shingo Eto (15-3-1, 9) and his scheduled opponent Sa Ya Lee (6-2, 3)* as well Jaesung Lee (17-4-2, 9) and Filipino foe Jerry Nardo (20-5, 11).
From what we under-stand several fighters have already got replacement bouts set up with Watanabe now being set for a non-title bout on March 17th and Suk being rumoured to defend his Korean title on March 6th.
We have asked AK promotions head honcho Andy Kim for any more details and hopefully he'll get back in touch with us shortly.
*Records taken from the KBF as boxrec.com refuse to correctly acknowledge fights fought under the KBF.
(Image courtesy of AKPromotions)
Just over a week ago we reported that OPBF ranked South Korean Jaesung Lee (17-4-2, 9) would be in action on March 1st at the time however we were unsure who Lee would be fighting after Andy Kim, of AK Promotions, informed us that Lee's original opponent, Jimmy Paypa (16-2-1, 6) would be unavailable for the bout. At the time Mr Kim told us that he trying to secure another Filipino foe for Lee.
Today it seems Mr Kim has secured another Filipino with the announcement that Lee would be fighting against Jerry Nardo (20-5, 11), a fighter who has regularly been competing at 130lbs in recent contests
Nardo isn't a world beater but is a tough, tough opponent for Lee. Nardo, who isn't ranked by the OPBF, has mixed with good company having lost decision to both Brett William Smith and Corey McConnell and suffering just a sole stoppage loss, to the criminally under-rated Adones Aguelo.
Although the contest is listed as being one of the support bouts it does look like a really interesting contest and a hard one to pick a winner in, so all credit goes to Mr Kim for getting this bout made and for doing it with plenty of time for both men to have a training camp.
(Image of Lee courtesy of http://akpromotions.co.kr)
According to Korean promotional outfight AK Promotions fight fans will be in for a treat on March 1st when they get the chance to see former OPBF title challenger and current #7 ranked contender Jaesung Lee (17-4-2, 9) battle against a Filipino visitor.
For Lee this will be his first bout since he was stopped in 10 rounds by OPBF champion Shingo Wake last July. Interestingly the Wake bout was Lee's third successive contest against a Japanese opponent which had also included a blood bath with Takuya Watanbe last March. Although Lee has fought a lot of Japanese foes recently, in fact 6 of his last 8 opponents have come from Japan, you need to go back 4 years for the last time he fought a Filipino fighter. That bout saw him struggling to a win over Rey Las Pinas.
Originally we were lead to believe that Lee would be battling against the very promising Jimmy Paypa (16-2-1, 6), though unfortunately that's no longer the case. If that bout had come off as originally announced we'd have had a very interesting battle of OPBF ranked fighters with Paypa entering the bout as the #13 ranked contender. Sadly however Paypa has had to be replaced, though no replacement opponent has yet been named, though we have been told that the replacement will be another Filipino and the announcement of that replacement will be made soon
(Image or Lee courtesy of http://akpromotions.co.kr)
Earlier today fans in Okayama City saw Shingo Wake (17-4-2, 10) successfully defend his OPBF Super Bantamweight title for the 4th time as he stopped South Korean challenger Jaesung Lee (17-4-2, 9). The bout in Okayama City saw Wake fighting in the city he was born in for the first time and although his performance wasn't punch perfect it was more than good enough to see off the #1 challenger for his title.
Wake, a speedy southpaw, landed sharp left hands from the off but Lee showed the typical Korean fighting spirit and refused to back down. In fact Lee made things difficult for Wake using an awkward style that made Wake think twice about taking too many risks.
Despite the awkward approach of Lee the shots of Wake were taking their effect on the challenger who was starting to look weary in the middle stages of the fight.
Lee, for all his toughness, was simply unable to be competitive and in round 9 he was sent out of the ring following some powerful shots from Wake. Lee managed to recover before the count was complete but the damage was done and early in the following round he was stopped as Wake gave the fans the ending they all came to see.
Following the bout Wake announced that he was chasing a world title, with his aim is to fight for a world title in his very next bout. Although no names were specifically mentioned we'd really like to see Wake fight against Guillermo Rigondeaux, who's manager has made it clear that opponents have been avoiding him. The bout would see Wake as a big under-dog but could see him posing Rigondeaux some issues courtesy of his own speed, counter punching and south paw stance.
If a bout with Rigondeaux cannot be made then we'd still love to see Wake fighter either Leo Santa Cruz or Scott Quigg. He'll likely have to wait until next year for either of those opponents but it'd be worth the wait to see Wake competing on the world stage.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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