Earlier today in Korea fans saw local star Ji Hyun Park (22-2, 6) retain her WIBA Minimumweight title with a decision win over gutsy Filipino warrior Gretchen Abaniel (15-8, 6).
At the start of the fight it looked like Park was going to have an easy time with her much shorter foe. The Korean's range and height appeared to make life easy on the outside and allowed her to come forward and she wished. In the second round however Abaniel changed the style of the fight, slinging in big bombs in the hope of hurting the Korean. Although Abaniel's work wasn't the cleanest it was troubling the Korean who was unable to her challenger off during a number of rounds.
By the time we got to the mid-way point the fight looked in the balance with Abaniel the aggressor and really giving Park all sorts of problems. Sadly for Abaniel however the momentum then began to change with Park ending round 6 in the ascendancy and then continuing her march to the the final bell by using her more complete skills, longer ranger and and more polished boxing ability.
Going in to the final round it appeared that Abaniel would need a KO to score the win, and she out looking for it. Unfortunately Abaniel's aggression resulted in a head clash that left Park cut and Abaniel being deducted a point. The cut wasn't a fight ending one but did seem to spur on both fighters who, on resumption of the fight, engaged in the exchange of the fight. Sadly for Abaniel she lacked the power needed in those late stages to turn the bout around.
Having reached the final bell their was only one winner, though Abaniel showed why she is so popular with top fighters. She comes to fight and will always make for some exciting action, even if she's not the most well skilled.
(Image courtesy of http://www.kbaboxing.co.kr)
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