As we head towards a new year we've decided to look into our glass balls, our tea leaves and our palms to come up with 20 predictions which will be posted over the coming weeks for what we think will happen in 2020. So far our predictions haven't been the best though they've not all been wrong.
In 2013 we predicted that Naoya Inoue, his brother Takuma and Kosei Tanaka would all win world titles. Between them they've won a few world titles, though Takuma has yet to win a proper world title. That same year we also predicted a growth in Chinese boxing, and this arguably happened despite the fact the Macau side of things has died off. We also predicted a growth in Asian fighters making a name for themselves in the US, this was before Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Naoya Inoue or Kazuto Ioka had fought on US soil, and before the wave of Uzbek's had began to attract US attention.
Unlike the past, where we have made all of our predictions in 1 article, we'll be spreading these ones out with 1 prediction per article, and going more in depth than we have in the past.
Prediction number 13 - Korea will develop a new Star
A bit of an outlandish one this time, but we suspect 2020 will be the year that Korea finally sees a new boxing star emerge. They may not go all the way to the top in 2020 but they will create the buzz and excitement that we've missed from the countries fighters in recent years.
Whilst it does seem like a wild prediction, especially given that Ye Joon Kim is the only Korean man in the world rankings, it does feel like there is real positivity in Korean boxing right now, thanks in part to the way BoxingM have managed to add stability and structure to the Korean boxing scene. There is a lot that still needs to be done in Korean boxing to develop it to the point where the country will start churning out world title level fighters on a regular basis, but there are hall marks of a system that is working, and is developing genuine talent.
In 2019 we were impressed by youngsters like Han Bin Suh, Jeong Seon Kang, Min Jang, Da Won Gang and Sung Min Yuh. As well as the youngsters we were really impressed by Jae Woo Lee, who's win over Tsuyoshi Tameda really surprised us, and he stood out as an old school Korean fighter with toughness, aggression and energy. He looked like the type of fighter who could lead a spearhead of Korean boxing renaissance.
We do believe Korean boxing is still a very fractured mess, and has too many people playing too many political games rather than building the Korean boxing scene, but it is certainly showing signs of moving in the right direction and we look like we have a good generation of hopefuls emerging from the country, with a nice of styles.
Thanks to how good BoxingM have been and how influential their Battle Royale tournaments are we see BoxingM becoming the dominant force of Korean boxing in the years to come, and the ones who will create the stars of Korean boxing. We suspect that begins in 2020 with at least one of their fighters making a mark internationally and breaking into the world rankings with a big win on foreign soil.
Expect Korean boxing to continue it's struggle for a while, but it only takes one break out star to set the platform for fighters to emerge. That might be Jae Woo Lee that plays that role, or Ye Joon Kim or someone else entirely, but in 2020 we expect to see someone lead the charge in that very manner!
(Image of Han Bin Suh courtesy of BoxingM)
This is just an opinion, maaaan! It's easy to share our opinions, and that's what you'll find here, some random opinion pieces