Yesterday we saw Korean fighter Ye Joon Kim (15-1-2, 7) [김예준] successfully defend the IBF Asia Super Bantamweight title with a decision win over the game but out classed Yuki Strong Kobayashi (10-6, 5) [ストロング小林佑樹], a visitor from Japan. Whilst watching the fight we felt their was something missing from Kim's performance and today we found out we were right.
Sadly what was missing was Kim's health with the Korean youngster suffering an injury to his left elbow, an injury that meant his powerful left hook wasn't as effective as usual and that he was forced to use his right hand more than he'd have liked.
The youngster is set to under-go surgery on the elbow issue, which was said to be an issue on a tendon in his arm, in the very near future with the issue hoping to be resolved quickly.
Kim has stated that after the surgery is complete his team will start to look at top 10 opponents for him with the hope being that he will get a chance to take a big step towards a world title fight next year. It's unlikely he'll get that shot a title in the next 12 months but next year will certainly be about climbing the rankings, and bouts against someone in the top 10 wouldn't be out of the question for the youngster.
(Image courtesy of Yonhap news)
World ranked Korean Super Bantamweight hopeful Ye Joon Kim (15-1-2, 7) [김예준] took another step towards a potential world title fight earlier today, as defended the IBF Asia with a decision win over the game Yuki Strong Kobayashi (10-6, 5) [ストロング小林佑樹].
Kobayashi, in his second title fight, fought like a man determined to make a mark on the fight and the first few rounds saw him bringing the pressure. Whilst it was rarely effective he did get some shots through the intelligent defense of Kim, who was happy to limit his own output. When Kim did throw however his shots seemed to have extra spite and venom on them with him often rocking and shaking the Japanese visitor. To Kobayashi's credit however he refused to be intimidated and always came firing back at Kim trying to turn the fight in his favour. Kim often obliged by hiding behind his defensive shell and fighting a lazy fight.
In the middle rounds Kim began to wake up a bit more, let his hands go more freely and seemed capable of a stoppage win, but never pressed the action enough to force it, often happy to hurt Kobayashi and back off. It was winning rounds, and impressing the loyal Korean support, but must have infuriated his team and neutrals who have to wonder if he will ever show that needed killer instinct.
Kim continued to look the boss, though often whilst fighting as an accurate counter puncher, until the final round when both upped the anti and let their shots go in an entertaining 3 minuts of action. Kim seemed to take a number of heavy looking shots, but withstood them well as his defenses started to fail him whilst Kobayashi fought like a man who felt he had a lifeline. Sadly for Kobayashi the finalcharge was never going to be enough and he was comfortably beaten on the scorecards.
Tomorrow fight fans in Korea will be able to see rising prospect Ye Joon Kim (14-1-2, 7) [김예준] defending his IBF Asia Super Bantamweight title as he takes on Japanese visitor Yuki Strong Kobayashi (10-5, 5) [ストロング小林佑樹]. Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in.
Sadly at the time of writing the official weights haven't been released to us, but we have been informed that both fighters made the 122lb limit, with Kim looking slightly more sucked in than Kobayashi, who recently fought for the OPBF Bantamweight title and is likely more comfortable making Super Bantamweight.
For fans interested in watching the contest it actually concludes a hectic weekend of boxing on the Korean MBC Sports + channel. The bout is set to be aired at 18:00 local time but the channel will also broadcast a number of Pacquiao fights, including the Vargas bout, along with Pacquiao Vs Timothy Bradley II and Marcos Maidana's memorable contest with Erik Morales.
If Kim wins he will likely move up the IBF rankings and towards an eventual world title fight, with an upset win for Kobayashi could see him move into the fringes of the IBF world rankings.
(Image courtesy of boxmob)
At the start of September we reported that rising Korean star Ye Joon Kim (14-1-2, 7) [김예준] would be defending his IBF Asia Super Bantamweight title on November 6th against Japan's Yuki Strong Kobayashi (10-5, 5) [ストロング小林佑樹]. Today the bout was confirmed by Mutoh Gym, the promoters of Kobayshi.
At today's press conference Kobayashi admitted that his performance last December against OPBF Bantamweight champion Takahiro Yamamoto was under-whelming. He has however been practising hard following that loss and will be looking to make a mark on what will be his international debut.
Although it's set to be Kobayashi's first bout outside of Japan it certainly won't be Kim's first bout against a Japanese visitor. In the last 2 years he has stopped both Yoshiyuki Takabayashi and Yoshihiro Utsumi and seems to have a knack of picking up his performances against Japanese foes, going 5-0 (4) against Japanese fighters so far throyugh his career,
At the moment we still have no idea about the under-card though we're hoping details will be released in the coming days now that the main event has clearly been signed off on by both sides.
Ye Joon Kim to return on November 6th!
Rising Korean star Ye Joon Kim (14-1-2, 7) [김예준] will be returning to the ring on November 6th to make the next defense of his IBF Asia Super Bantamweight title and to move, gradually, towards a world title fight. In the opposite corner will be Japan's Yuki Strong Kobayashi (10-5, 5), who challenged for the OPBF Bantamweight title last year, losing in 2 rounds to the big punching Takahiro Yamamoto, and also acted as the pro-test partner for Hinata Maruta in 2014.
At the moment very few details about the overall card are known but the Korean press have stated that the bout will headline a card at the Yongsan Culture Center, Seoul and it will be aired on MBC Sports in Korea, a channel that has shown a number of Kim's recent bouts.
Coming in to this Kim is in good form with notable wins against the likes of Akihiuro Matsumoto, Vergil Puton, Angky Angkotta and Patomsith Pathompothong. They might not be world class but they are solid names for a young prospect coming through the ranks, which is exactly what the 23 year old Kim is.
Sadly the same can't be said for Kobayashi with the Japanese fighter beign 6-5 in his last 11 bouts, but they have seen him score wins over the then unbeaten Bunta Mitaka and the then promising Hikaru Matsuoka. Although not a star by any means he should be able to test Kim.
We're hoping to see the under-card for this show revealed by mid October at the latest, but we're unlikely to see another bout of real note on it with many of the other top KBF licensed fighters booked for another card on October 9th, or on their travels, with Jin Wook Lim (8-4-5, 2) [임진욱 ] off to Japan in November for his own OPBF title bout.
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