Earlier today we were informed that Korean fighter Jung Kyoung Lee (7-2-1, 3) [이중경] would be making his first defense of the OPBF Light Middleweight title on April 14th, as he takes on Japanese puncher Akinori Watanabe (37-7-1, 31) [渡部あきのり], in Seoul.
Lee, who won the title earlier this year when he stopped Samuel Colomban, will be looking to establish his reign here and score a 5th straight win, building on not only the win over Colomban but also a decision win in 2018 against Tonghui Li. He is regarded, at the moment, as one of the key figures in Korean boxing and a successful defense will likely see him become one of the big faces in the countries long awaited boxing revival.
As for Watanabe the bout comes on the back of a draw against Nobuyuki Shindo, and marks a clear intention from Watanabe who seems to have vacated the Japanese "interim" Light Middleweight title. He is coming into this bout looking to become a 2-weight OPBF champion, having won the belt at Welterweight, and clearly wants to try and make a name for himself with a second OPBF title, rather than waiting for another shot at the domestic regular belt.
We're expecting a lot more information on this show in the coming days, though this is a genuine exciting main event, and should be a great fight for fans able to get to Seoul for the contest.
The Korean boxing scene it expected to make a huge move forward in 2019, with Boxing M putting down strong foundations for a big year and the KBF linking up with with a couple of MMA promotions to pool resources and put on shows with a combination of boxing and MMA.
Today the first of those mixed cards took place, "Annihilation 001".
The main event of that card was the first male OPBF title fight to take place in Korea in several years. Not only that, but it also saw the local man pick up the title, becoming a relatively rare, for this day and age, Korean OPBF champion.
The bout in question saw the little known Jung Kyoung Lee (7-2-1, 3) [이중경] battle against Australian-Cameroonian Samuel Colomban (25-11-1, 11) for the previously vacant OPBF Light Middleweight title, and saw Lee become just the second man, with the other being Jeff Horn back in 2013, to stop Colomban!
Lee, who was an MMA fighter before turning to boxing 2 years ago, had looked to take the lead on his boxing, but Colomban's big power shots kept him in the bout and made sure that Lee was unable to run away with things. Sadly for the visitor however he was being forced to fight at a pace unsuitable for a man who has had the long, draining career he's had, or a man who has been away from the ring for well over a year.
After the judges score-cards we revealed, at the start of round 7, giving Lee a narrow lead, he would land a huge shot through the guard of Colomban, before a follow up sent him down. Colomban tried to beat the count but was unable to, as Lee became, arguably, the most important fighter in Korea today, and the new OPBF champion at 154lbs!
(Photo taken by Lee Geum-moo/www.edaily.co.kr)
Tomorrow fight fans in Korea will get the chance to see Korean fighter Jung Kyoung Lee (6-2-1, 2) [이중경] battle against Australian-Cameroonian Samuel Colomban (25-10-1, 11) for the OPBF Light Middleweight title, in what will be the first OPBF title bout on Korean soil since Min Wook Kim battled Valentine Hosokawa in August 2013!
Today Kim and Colomban took part in their weigh in and both men made weight.
On the scales Lee was the heavier man, weighing in at 153.8lbs, whilst Colomban was 150.9lbs, well under the 154lb divisional limit.
Also on this card will be a contest between Heuk San Lee (8-0-2, 3), a Cameroonian refugee in Korean, and Jae Duk Bae (3-5, 2). Lee made weight on his first attempt whilst Bae needed a second shot on the scales to make weight for the bout.
Related - Lee and Colomban battle for OPBF crown!
On January 19th we'll see a notable card from South Korea as we get Annihilation 1, a joint boxing and MMA card in conjunction with the Korean Boxing Federation (KBF), Top Fighting Championship (TFC) and The Apex Predators (TAP).
The video, which is just a short one, is to hype up the card which will be headlined by Jung Kyoung Lee (6-2-1, 2) [이중경] battling Samuel Colomban (25-10-1, 11) for the OPBF Light Middleweight title, the first OPBF title fight to be held in Korea in years.
The video show cases some of the fighters on the show and also seems to confirm that it will be aired on KBS in Korea
Yesterday a join press conference was held in Korea with the Korean Boxing Federation (KBF), Top Fighting Championship (TFC) and The Apex Predators (TAP) Management all being there together to announce the first event of "Annihilation", which will take place on January 19th in Seoul.
The main event of that January card will see Jung Kyoung Lee (6-2-1, 2) [이중경] battling Samuel Colomban (25-10-1, 11) for the OPBF Light Middleweight title.
The joint venture is the first time boxing and MMA management companies will work together in Korea and the hope seems to be that by working together all the promoters win, due to pooled resources. The organisation appear set to follow ONE Championships lead in using a modified boxing ring to hold both MMA and boxing in the same venue, rather than having the need to have different shows for different sports.
For those interested in more details in regards to "Annihilation" the brilliant asianmma.com have covered the press conference in depth here.
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