The OPBF titles are viewed as an honour by fighters through out Asia, though unfortunately not all the challengers for the belts are particularly great. This is the case this weekend as Korean Jung-Hoon Yang (8-5, 2) challenges for the OPBF Welterweight title.
Yang is a 2-time Korean champion at 147lbs and he is a former OPBF title challenger. Although his record may suggest that he's a bum, he really isn't and had he had better connections he may well have had a slightly better record. Despite his record though he did score a notable victory in his last bout, taking a decision over Japan's Shamgar Koichi. It's that victory that has really helped him to get this opportunity.
Unfortunately for Yang his last OPBF title fight ended terrible, with the Korean stopped in just 4 rounds by the big punching Akinori Watanabe. We're expecting something similar to happen here as he takes on reigning champion Yoshihiro Kamegai (23-1-1, 20), another monstrously big punching Japanese fighter.
Kamegai, if you've somehow not seen him, is a fun to watch fighter. He's generally quiet basic and can be out boxed but few will out slug him with his explosive power. At his worst Kamegai can be made to look stupid, stationary and 1-dimensional, as he was in his loss to the under-rated Johan Perez, at his best though he's a terrifying puncher who destroys what he hits.
From what we know of Yang he's not an awful fighter but we simply can't imagine him taking the power of Kamegai very well at all and his own lack of fire power won't keep the Japanese fighter honest. Instead Kamegai will walk though the return fire in the knowledge that his own heavy artillery will simply be too much for the over-matched challenger who will likely last 4 or 5 rounds as Kamegai slowly but steadily grinds down his challenger.
We;re hoping that if Kamegai, as expected, is successful here we'll see him in with a more fitting challenger next time. We know that the Welterweights in Asia are limited but fights featuring Kamegai and Suyon Takayama, Akinori Watanabe, Teerachai Kratingdaenggym or Patomsuk Pathompothong would all be very interesting. Certainly more so than this bout seems like to be.
If you want us to sum this up in a world we're expecting to see a show case performance of Kamegai, his power and his style. He's almost always fun to watch, but it's just a shame that it's not coming against a suitable dance partner.
(Poster courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Having canned the old "Full Schedule" of Asianboxing we have instead decided to concentrate more on the major bouts. This section, the "Preview" section will look at major bouts involving OPBF and national titles. Hopefully leading to a more informative style for, you the reader.