Korean boxing is really struggling for traction, and has been for a while. Despite that the country does have some notable fighters and some with really interesting stories. No story matches that of the “Defector Girl Boxer” Hyun Mi Choi (11-0-1, 4) [최현미], the star of the KBA and the current WBA female Super Featherweight champion. In fact Choi's story is one of the best is boxing as a whole and is one of triumphant against adversity as well as the battle for freedom away from an evil dictator. It's a story that perhaps resonates with Cuban fighters but Choi takes it to a new level as she was just a teenager when she, and her family, defected from Pyongyang.
Choi's remarkable story features not only her defection but also her success as a fighter, which includes the amazing achievement of winning a world title on her debut. She's currently a 2-weight world champion, with a 10-0-1 (3) record in world title fights, and will be looking to extend her current reign on March 27th when she faces Colombian puncher Diana Ayala (19-11-4, 13).
The 25 year old Korean is a really talented boxer with a good work rate who likes to keep the fight at range. She's tall, 5'7”, and long for the weight and uses those to her advantage, whilst using using impressive speed. She's technically very solid and although not a big puncher her shots do take a toll on her opponents, who often end up bruised and looking like they have been in a fight.
Whilst Choi does lack massive wins she does have a number of good wins. They include decisions over Tenku Tsubasa, Claudia Andrea Lopez, Shannon O'Connell, Fujin Raika and Chika Mizutani as well as a stoppage over Sandy Tsagouris. Given her lack of experience those wins are very impressive and show the quality of the Korean, who doesn't seem to shirk challenges.
Whilst the champion is unbeaten the challenger has racked up losses, though has been a fighter who has fought on the road before and has acquitted herself well, despite being relatively crude. Like many Colombian's she has a reputation for being a puncher and like many she has racked up wins at home whilst failing to win bouts outside of her homeland. In fact Ayala is 0-10 outside of her homeland.
Although win-less outside of Colombia Ayala has fought the likes of Ogleidis Suarez, Monica Silvina Acosta, Fernanda Soledad Alegre, Jackie Nava, Alejandra Marina Oliveros, Claudia Andrea Lopez and Maria Elena Maderna on her travels. Whilst she has been competitive in some of those bouts it needs to be noted that her 19-1-4 record in Colombia is relatively padded with her last 6 wins, dating back more than 3 years, coming against win-less opposition, and she is now more than 5 years removed from her most notable result, a draw with Liliana Palmera.
Give the crudeness of Ayala there is the probability that she could give Choi some problems, though we suspect that Choi's skills will see her over-come the Colombian en route to a straight forward, and clear, decision. Ayala may have success early but when Choi begins to read her challenger the bout will become very one sided in favour of the champion.
Here we preview the key female title bouts involving an Asian fighter.