Earlier this year we saw South Korean fighter Sa-Ya Lee claim the national Lightweight title with a 10th round victory over Sang-Joon Park. Recently he recorded the first defense of that title as he defeated former national Super Featherweight champion Sung-Tae Kim with a clear decision over 10 rounds. For Lee the bout was his first as a champion whilst for Kim it was a long awaited return to the ring after losing his national title to Dong-Hyuk Kim more than 3 years ago.
We won't try and tell you this was a great bout but it is is nice to see a Korean show with a bit of glitz and glamour courtesy of AK Promotions who's whole card looked very different to many recent Korean shows that appeared to be fought in school gyms in front of a handful of people. Hopefully the show was a success for the promoter who may well be able to help reinvent the Korean boxing scene which is looking like it's almost dead.
(Note this bout is not yet listed on boxrec.com)
(Video courtesy of k-boxing
Back in April the Korean Boxing Commission set up a domestic scrap for the then vacant Korean Lightweight title fight. The men who were selected to fight for the title were Sang Joon Park and Sa Ya Lee. Neither had fought in any sort of a title fight prior to this bout, in fact neither had been involved in anything longer than a 6 rounder.
Despite their lack of experience the two men put on a solid clash knowing that a national title was on the line and that the winner would have the ability to call themselves a champion. This lead to a bit of a slow burn effect but by the later rounds the action picked up and we ended up with the typical Korean brawl, a little bit of confusion and and one man getting the chance to call themselves a champion.
We won't ruin much of the bout though we will make several observations. Firstly, the poor venue and crowd sadly sum up the state of Korean boxing right now. It's a shame that a country that one provided some great fighters has seen title fights put into venues like this. Secondly, for those wanting to identify the fighters Park is in black and Lee is in gold.
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