When we closed out 2019 we promised to show more diversity in our "Introducing..." articles for 2020 and today we continue to uphold that, as we look at an unbeaten national champion from Korea, who is arguably the most fun to watch fighter on the planet, at least on a pound for pound basis.
This is the first time we've "introduced" a national champion, but given the state of Korean boxing it doesn't seem a bad choice, especially given just how much we enjoying watching the 19 yeah old Han Bin Suh (5-0-3, 4)
The baby faced Suh made his professional debut in 2017, just a month after he turned 17, and he has quickly become a fighter that every fan should know about. That's despite not fighting at all in 2018!
On debut, back in March 2017, Suh beat fellow debutant Sang Woo Bae inside a round, and added his second pro win with a TKO2 over Hyo Duk Oh just a few months later. Despite it being very early in his career Suh was making a name for himself based on his exciting style, that was almost a throw back to a bygone era of Korean boxing. Suh was all "punch, punch, punch". There was little finesse to what he did, but it was working and why would he mess with a winning formula?
Sadly Suh's winning formula would stop being a winning one, and after taking a narrow win over Young Chan Yoon, in a bout that showed the willingness of Korean judges to give 10-10 rounds, he would suffer his first draw. That draw, a 4 round split decision draw with China's Youngu Yu, was followed by a break of over a year, before Suh got back in the ring and fought to another draw, this time a 6 round draw with Ki Hyun Park. Incidentally these weren't just draws, but were also the first bouts Suh had at Super Bantamweight, as he dropped down in weight after starting his career with fights above the Featherweight limit.
Those draws didn't really set Suh back at all. Instead they seemed to empower him, making him realise he could set a hot pace, and keep going. He seemed to realise that his energy levels were incredibly and that he could take a shot really well, and it's that which has made him such a must watch fighter in the last year or so. He simply doesn't stop throwing punches, even when caught clean himself. He might not always throw the most effective, or the heaviest, or the cleanest of blows, but he throws so much than he simply drowns opponents in leather, like some of the top Korean's of yesteryear.
That pressure, work rate and incessant aggression from Suh saw him win the Korean Super Bantamweight title, KBM version at least, in April 2019, when he broke down Dae Young Lee in an excellent all action bout. Suh, who takes risks in his aggressive march forward, was forced to take some clean counters, but refused to let Lee build any momentum before roaring back. Lee was game, but he had the fight beaten out of him by Suh in the 8th round as the frantic pace and none stop aggression proved too much., even if he did take shots himself.
In his first defense of the KBM Super Bantamweight Suh again showed unbridled will to win and aggression as he defended the belt in a sensational bout against Jong Won Jung in July. This was an even better fight than his title win and Jung tried to go punch for punch with Suh, giving us a truly epic war with incredible levels of output from both. As with his title win Suh's defense left much to be desired, but his aggression was simply too much for Jung who was ground down, and stopped in round 8 of arguably the best Korean bout of 2019.
Suh's most recent bout saw him earn his third defense as he fought to a draw with Jong Min Jung over 10 action packed rounds. This was a bout that Suh's defensive issues were most obvious, but his chin, his work rate, his heart and desire were amazing, and he refused to lose. Jung was the better boxer, but the 32 year old was dragged into Suh's bout as it went on and Suh's work rate certainly saw him deserve a draw, at worst.
On January 18th we'll see Suh make his 4th defense, as he battles former amateur standout Dong Myung Shin. Suh in tough here against a man who ran up well over over 100 wins the the amateur ranks, but a win for the youngster is expected to net him an OPBF title fight later in the year. Getting past Shin isn't a given, but if he does we expect 2020 to be a massive year for Suh. Then again a loss for the youngster will not be the end, given just how young he is.
Although Suh is unlikely to ever be a Korean star, like the legendary names from the 1980's, he does appear to be a fighter who is inspired by the likes of Jung Koo Chang, and that is certainly not a bad thing at all!
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