Although South Korean boxing has been quiet it does seem like something exciting is bubbling up under the surface. We're not 100% sure what but something is certainly happening at the moment.
What we do know is that Ye Joon Kim (10-1-2, 5)* is one of the more exciting Korean fighters and this week we see him kick off 2014 as he battles Filipino visitor Virgil Puton (14-5, 7) in a contest for the currently vacant IBF Asia Super Bantamweight title. We're big fans of the unique Kim who looks to be one of the most interesting fighters left plying his trade in Korea and he'll know he needs a win here if he's to remain the face of the Korean Boxing Federation.
In a second international bout on this cards fans will get the chance to see Sa Ya Lee** (6-2, 3) fight in an 8 rounder against Jonel Alibio (18-18-5, 10). in what appears to be a stay busy contest for the under-rated Lee, himself the KBF Lightweight champion.
The most notable of two Japanese shows comes from Aichi where fans will get a Youth world title fight as well as a competitive, but low tier, under-card.
The main event on the show will see WBC Youth Light Middleweight champion Petchsuriya Singwancha (13-9, 7) return to Japan for his 6th bout in the country and his second against Ryosuke Maruki (8-3-1, 6). These two met last July with Petchsuriya defending his title with a majority decision. Since their first bout the champion has fought 3 times, including a painful stoppage loss to the monstrously hard hitting Koki Tyson Maebara. Maruki on the other hand has fought just once since their first bout, stopping Anwar Solihin in 3 rounds, though will feel confident of claiming the title at the second chance of asking.
The most notable under-card bout here is an 8 rounder between Kazuki Fukakura (7-8-2, 3) and Ginzo Hanaki (6-11-1, 4). It's not a high level match up but it's certainly a solid bout between two guys who will really go for a win in the hopes of changing their fortunes.
In terms of 6 rounders fans will get the chance to see a couple of 2014 West Japan Rookie of the Year runner ups in action. One of those will be Super Bantamweight Takashi Igarashi (5-1, 1), who battles the presumably over-matched Reiko Sugiyama (4-4-3, 2), whilst the other is Minimumweight Jun Takigawa (5-1, 3), who takes on the light hitting Tatsuya Sakamoto (4-6, 1). Both of these should be straight forward wins for the prospects but it's also a bit of a mystery as to how fighters do after their first loss.
Sadly one bout that was scheduled for this card that has been cancelled now was set to feature the unbeaten Shogo Yamaguchi (6-0-1, 3) battle against Yuji Iwata (6-5-2, 2). That looked to be the best of the under-card bouts on paper prior to it's cancellation.
The other Japanese card comes from Hyogo and sadly looks less than exciting.
The main event will see Ryuji Miyazaki (13-7-3, 4) battle against Riichi Kawase (6-6-2, 1) in a less than thrilling looking contest. On paper Miyazaki should win against his light hitting foe with out too many problems.
In the co-feature we have an equally forgettable match up as non-punchers collide with Yushi Fujita (6-6-4, 1) battling against Kohei Maruoka (7-8-1, 1). In some ways this is a much better match up than the main event, given the two guys have similar records, though it's still nothing to write home about.
(Image courtesy of http://www.koreaboxing.or.kr)
*Boxrec don't count Kim's win over Susu Sithjadaeng from last year
**Boxrec don't count Lee's win over Sung Ta Kim from last year