With Floyd Mayweather retired at 49-0 some fight fans may be expecting his record to stand for some time. The truth however is that his long unbeaten record is likely to be broken in the coming years with several fighters all chasing it. One of those is WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (39-0, 14) who looks to score his 40th win this coming Tuesday when he defends his title against Korean challenger Young Kil Bae (26-4-1, 21).
The bout marks a rare point of note for Korean boxing which hasn't had a male world title challenger since 2013, when Jung-Oh Son challenged Koki Kameda, and hasn't had a world champion since In Jin Chi retired in 2007. The only other recent world title with a Korean saw Ji Hoon Kim being widely out pointed by Miguel Vazquez back in 2010.
On paper this is a real mismatch.
Bae, also known as Myung Goo Yuh, is a 36 year old fighter who is married to fellow fighter Hee Jung Yuh. Much of his career has been spent in obscurity and in fact he began his career with a faltering 9-4-1 (4) record. Since that start however he has slowly but surely climbed through the ranks with his aggressive and fun to watch style which has seen him slowly make a name for himself in Thailand as well as Korea. During that run he has rattled of 17 straight T/KO victories and claimed the PABA Flyweight title.
On paper Bae's run is impressive though it does say a lot about his competition, which has typically been terrible. Those fights have shown his to be aggressive but predictable, heavy handed but not concussive, exciting but not exceptional. More notable than his run however is the fact he has suffered his last 3 losses have come but T/KO, including a 74 second blow out defeat to Roque Lauro.
Whilst Bae is, on paper, a puncher it's fair to say Wanheng isn't, however the champion is an exceptional pressure fighter who is tough, accurate, can hold a high pace and can grind fighters down both mentally and physically. He's one of the sports most under-rated pressure fighters and combines accuracy, aggression and work rate to really impose his fight style on his opponents.
Whilst technically Bae and Wanheng are very different types of fighters it's fair to say that they have both fought a lot of poor opposition. Saying that however Wanheng has faced the much better competition with the likes of Ardin Diale, Yuma Iwahashi, Oswaldo Novoa and Jeffrey Galero. They might not be amazing opposition but they are solid enough to be regarded as much better than anything Bae has beaten.
Given that Bae likes to fight on the front foot and that Wanheng is a pressure fighter, who love to close the distance, we're expecting this one to be a lot of fun with plenty of exchanges. Sadly for Bae however he'll not manage to cope with the solid defense and accurate offense of Wanheng who will likely grind down the challenger in the middle rounds of a fun but one sided fight.
World Title Previews
The biggest fights get broken down as we try to predict who will come out on top in the up coming world title bouts.