With all the fuss on New Year's Eve we sadly missed a story from Korea which, looking back on things, would have put a downer on the day.
That was news from KBM that they had cancelled their annual "Battle Royal" tournament, explaining that due to Covid19 they had no choice but to cancel "Battle Royal 4" and that completing the tournament was essentially impossible.
As a result when boxing is back up and running in Korea KBM will prioritise fights involving the men who were supposed to compete in the quarter finals of the tournament. Those fighters will, however, need to wait until Covid19 is back under complete control in South Korea and boxing is allowed to take place in the country.
Given the ups and downs of Korean boxing in recent years this is certainly another negative, however it does seem like the KBM are planning big things for as soon as things improve in the country, and fingers crossed by the end of 2021 we see Korean fighters in the ring on a regular basis.
On November 29th we were expecting to see the next set of bouts from the BoxingM Battle Royal series, which were going to be a set of quarter finals bouts as the tournament continues it's slow, and much belated, move towards the competition's final.
Sadly however earlier this week BoxingM announced the show had been postponed due to Covid19.
The announcement came on November 23rd, which also BoxingM announce that the protests set for November 25th were cancelled.
At the moment there is no set date for when things will be taking place, though the hope is that it will be a temporary postponement, and not something that lasts too long. There is, however, a fear that it could end up being a prolonged one, and potentially even derails the KBM's new streaming service, which was launched this month with this show set to be the second on made available on the service.
The statement from BoxingM states that these events were cancelled due to local government recommendations in the region. With that in mind it's likely these events will not be going ahead until the local authorities feel that events like these are completely safe in the region. That is unless, BoxingM decide to try holding them in some other region of Korea, though that seems unlikely, for now.
Earlier today Boxing Management Korea (KBM) announced a host of changes to their up coming line up, many of which are alternations to title fights that were previously set for November.
Up at Heavyweight we'll see Sung Min Lee (7-1, 2) [이성민] defending his title against Hyun Tae Bae (6-1-1, 4) [배현태] on November 14th, with Bae replacing Jae Min Kim (2-3-2, 1) [김재민]. This has come about after Min had to pull out for what is described as "personal circumstances".
Thankfully this does seem like a big upgrade at Heavyweight, with Bae looking a much better challenger, and he is a former Korean Cruiserweight champion.
On the same date we'll also see a KBM Lightweight title fight, as Moo Hyun Kim (5-1, 1) [김무현] and Dong Hyun Won (3-3) [원동현] battle for the vacant belt. Kim comes in to the bout having notched back to back wins since a 2017 loss to Gyu Beom Jeon whilst the 36 year old Won has suffered back to back losses, and likely knows it is now or never if he wants to win a title. This bout was scheduled for November 21st but has been brought forward by a week.
The plan to have a double header on November 15th have now been forced to change.
That's due to Hyun Jin Moon (4-0-1, 4) [왼쪽이] and Da Won Gang (4-0, 2) [강다원] having their clash for the KBM Light Welterweight title being cancelled, as Moon has been forced off the show. As a result this planned double header has been reduced to a single title show, with In Soo Jang (5-2-1) [장인수] and Jae Hyun Jo (4-1-3, 1) [조재현] battling for the KBM Bantamweight title.
Sadly for Gang this is not the first time he's seen his title fight pushed back and we could fully understand the talented youngster getting very frustrated at how his promising career has gone this year.
As a result of the changes the plans to hold a show on November 21st have now been cancelled all together, with the only other KBM show being a Battle Royal card on November 29th, as the months goes out with a bang.
One of the often under-rated things about professional boxing is how good tournaments are, and we are massive fans of tournaments. It's not just the top tier tournaments, such as the World Boxing Super Series, but other, smaller, tournaments like the Japanese Rookie of the Year.
One of the many notable smaller tournaments worthy of attention is the Boxing M Battle Royal. The tournament is essentially Boxing Management Korea's (KBM) answer to the Japanese Rookie of the Year.
The tournament was supposed to have it's quarter final bouts way back on May 16th, with the finals originally planned for September. That was before the the on going global situation forced KBM to postpone a number of shows, including the various rounds of the Battle Royal.
As a result of the postponements the quarter finals are now set for November 29th, and will take place at SG Boxing. The bouts are expected to be broadcast, though it appears the broadcast will be a recording, and not live. The plan, at the moment, is to not allow spectators, though there is a chance that that will change, and some spectators may be allowed to attend depending on the situation in Korea in November.
In total the event is set to feature 13 bouts, taking place from Bantamweight up to Heavyweight.
Tomorrow in South Korea we'll see a new KBM Light Middleweight champion being crowned as talented teenager Sung Min Yuh (4-0) [유성민] battles Soo Lee (3-4-2, 3) [이 수] for the vacant title.
Today the two men took part on their weigh in for the bout and both men came in under the 154lb limit for the title.
On the scales Yuh, the shorter and younger man, came in at 153.55lbs and looked a touchy fleshy at the weight. Lee, who is moving down from Middleweight for the bout, was bang on the limit at 154lbs.
Interestingly the winner of this will almost certainly be expected to make his first defense against Do Ha Kim (7-1) [김도하], who was supposed to take on Yuh until an injury forced him out of the proposed match up.
For fans wanting to watch this it's expected to be shown on STN in South Korea tomorrow along with the first show of this year's Battle Royal tournament.
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