Despite South Korean boxing being on a notable slump from the heady days of the 1980's when fighters like Jung-Koo Chang were dominating it appears that they may have a genuine talent on their hands. OPBF Light Welterweight champion Min-Wook Kim (10-1, 7) may not be well known though today he made a definitive statement as he defended his title for the 3rd time and upset the highly regarded Shinya Iwabuchi (21-4, 17). Iwabuchi, fighting at the Korakuen Hall for an impressive 24th time as a professional was seen as a clear favourite having only lost once since 2004. Kim however wasn't interested in the reputation of Iwabuchi and claimed a very hard fought decision win to retain his title and remain in the WBC 10 at Light Welterweight.
A rather surprisingly fact is that currently Kim is the highest ranked Korean at any weight by any of the 4 major organising bodies.
On the same card in Japan prospect Katsunori Nagamine (8-0, 5) scored an early victory over Hyun-Je Shin (5-5) whilst Jin-Soo Kim (6-2, 3) blasted out Japanese based Ghanian Quaye Peter (5-3-1, 3) for the first stoppage loss of Peter's career.
Other bouts on the card saw decision victories for Shun Shimazaki (4-3, 1), Keisuke Ogino (2-4, 1), Ye-Joon Kim (4-1-1, 1) and Heavyweight Yamato Fujinaka (4-3, 1).
There was also 2 other cards in Japan though the bouts were of little real note with the biggest name in action being former Japanese title challenger Atsushi Kakutani (13-3-1, 6) who defeated the awfully over-matched Kaokarat Kaolernlekgym (0-3)
In the Philippines we also had title action as Filipino Minimumweight champion (GAB) Crison "D'Cowboy" Omayao (16-6-2, 4) ended a 3 fight losing run (including a 4th round KO to Naoya Inoue) by scoring a draw with the experienced Jetly Purisima (17-13-4, 5).
In none title action at the "Covered Court, City Hall, Valencia City" Fredirex Rodriguez (11-2-1, 8) over came Khunkhiri Wor Wisaruth (8-4-1, 4) over 10 rounds. The bout was a clear victory for the 24 year old Rodriguez who is now expected to face former world champion Pungluang Sor Singyu in just a few weeks time.
The same card also saw victories for Glen Contiveros (1-0-1) who out pointed Adones Alicos (1-5-1); Jestoni Makiputin (4-0-2, 2) who stopped Venjie Patac (0-2) and debuting pair of Jelbirt Gomera and Arnel Acebuque (both 1-0, 1) who stopped Robert Evangelio and Carlos Supas (both 0-1) in 2 bouts that saw debutants facing off.
Also in the Philippines was action for the criminally under-rated Richard Pumicpic (12-5-2, 4) who defended his WBC Youth Silver Bantamweight title by out pointing Indonesian Junior Bajawa (14-2, 7) over 10 rounds. Pumicpic came in to this bout following an unexpected draw with the highly regarded Japanese fighter Yohei Tobe.
On the same card as the Pumicpic bout was action from the always fun to watch Bernabe Concepcion (32-6-1, 18) who scored his second victory after losing to current WBO Featherweight champion Mikey Garcia last. Concepcion stopped Boido Simanjuntak (16-18-1, 5) in the 7th of a scheduled 10.
Bobby Concepcion (11-3-1, 5), the younger brother of Bernabe managed to out do his brother stopping his opponent in just 150 seconds, though admittedly Elbert Guardario (7-21-1, 2) wasn't much of a test for the promising young Filipino. In fact the card was scattered with early endings as Warren Mambuanag (6-2-2, 3) took out the previous undefeated Bebong Manalo (5-1, 3) in 4, Jeffrey Cerna (13-7, 6) took out Roy Albaera (2-19-4) in 2 and Mark Postrano (1-1, 1) also finished off his bout in 2 stopping debutant Jon Jon Estrada (0-1).
Of the less notable bouts that went the distance Daniel Ferreras (12-5-1, 4) took a 10 round decision over veteran Marvin Tampus (27-18-2, 18) scoring a near shut out. JR Florendo (2-1) defeated Jommel Mungkal (1-2) in what on paper looked a pick 'em fight and JC Francisco (2-6) upset the debuting Juanito Hundante (0-1) by a 4 round decision.
In a battle of unbeaten Minimumweights Nino Valenzuela (7-0-1, 2) and Lester Abutan (2-0-1, 1) fought to a 6 round majority draw in the only even bout on the card.