In December we are going to be sharing our "20 for 20", a list of 20 fighters to keep an eye on for the new year. Ahead of that we will be looking at a number of fighters who just missed out on that list.
These are the fighters who perhaps won't be ready for a world title by the end of next year, but we feel will make a mark in the year, and go on to do big things in the following year or two. Typically they are the prospects who perhaps need a little more time to develop, or who are still a bit too young for the big fights, or maybe just don't seem like they are quite there yet. These are our "Honourable mentions - 20 for 20" fighters and these will be posted daily until the start of December!
Da Won Gang (3-0, 1)
Whilst the Korean Rookie of the Year competitions aren't as strong as their Japanese counterpart their is some good talent that gets the chance to shine through the tournaments. One such example of that is Da Won Gang, a 19 year old who won the BoxingM version of Rookie of the Year, "Battle Royale", this year. He did so by looking very, very talented and scoring 3 wins in the space of 6 months. The youngster didn't look the most polished fighter through the tournament, but being polished has rarely been part of the Korean boxing ethos, where energy, aggression and excitement are key and Won appears to tick all those boxes. The young is certainly aggressive, very strong and has proven his ability to go 6 rounds with a frustrating opponent, in the form of Yoon Ki Kim. Gang is clearly a work in progress, but that's never a bad thing, and at just 19 years old, with a good team behind him and a real desire to show what he can do we're excited about his potential.
Obviously Gang will need to polish his skills off, sharpen his punching and add a bit more power to his shots, which should come when he matures, but that will hopefully happen in 2020.
Expectations for 2020?
The way that BoxingM have been in the last few years we've seen a lot top BoxingM guys fight Japanese opponents in Korea Vs Japan shows. We expect Gang will be on one of those in 202, though the reality is that we don't really think that's the best option for him. At least not next year.
It we were handling Gang we would be looking to move him to a BoxingM title fight, giving him more Korean opponents, and maybe importing a limit Thai or Filipino opponent. The focus should be on Gang to get rounds, fighting over 8 or even 10 rounds, getting experience against tough opponents and then getting the chance to smooth out his technical issues. He's a promising fighter but he needs to be given time.
We expect the worse, though if Gang's team can look after him then the future is very bright for this talented and promising Korean teenager.
When we have some free time we're hoping to add a series of fun articles to the site. Hopefully these will be enjoyable little short features