In a year where boxing has taken a back seat to real life, it's fair to say that we haven't had a lot to get excited about, however it seems everyone is determined to send out the year with a bang, and we have a lot of exciting stuff lined up. Yesterday the KBF (Korean Boxing Federation) announced another show to be excited by, with a title triple header in Cheongyang-gun on December 13th,
The first of the three bouts will see Lee Dong Yoon (0-0) [이동윤] make his debut in a KBF Heavyweight title bout against Jong Kook Kim (7-1, 4) [김종국]. It's rare to see a fighter debut in a title bout, so seeing Yoon fighting for a belt in his debut is certainly very interesting, though sadly we've not stumbled on anything about him, such as amateur achievements. This may be a case of the KBF wanting to crown Kim as a new champion, or a chance for Yoon to make a huge statement on debut.
In the second title bout we'll see former Korean Light Welterweight champion Dong Hee Kim (8-4-2, 3) [김동희] attempt to reclaim the title as he battles the once beaten Min Seok Seol (6-1) [설민석]. Kim won the title way back in 2016, and made a single successful defense against In Duck Seo, before losing to Gyu Beom Jeon in 2018. Coming in to this bout he has lost 3 in a row, including TKO losses to Koki Inoue and Ngoc Hai Nguyen. Whilst Kim has been struggled Seol has been in good form, winning his last 5, albeit against inexperienced novices.
The third title bout will see Ji Myung Sun (5-0, 3) [선지명] and Yong In Jo (9-2-3, 2) [조용인] battle for the KBF Welterweight title. The unbeaten Sun began his career in 2015, and has won all 5 of his bouts, however he hasn't fought since January 2017. Jo also debuted in 2015, and was 1-2-1 after 5 bouts, but has rebuilt since then going 8-1-1 in his last 10, with his only loss in that run coming to Daishi Nagata.
As well as the title triple header the card will also feature unbeaten 25 year old Sung Jae Jo (11-0, 8) [조성재] battling 39 year old Jung Ho Jang (4-5-1, 2) [장정호] in what appears to be a WBO Asia Pacific title eliminator, or tune up, for Jo.
Just moments ago Japanese fight fans at the Bunka Gym in Yokohama got the chance to see 2012 Olympic bronze medal winner, and current OPBF Featherweight champion, Satoshi Shimizu (5-0, 5) [清水 聡] record his first defense of the title that he won this past October. The talented, and heavy handed, Japanese fighter from the Ohashi stable was facing off with gutsy Filipino challenger Eduardo Mancito (15-8-2, 9) but made the bout look like a relatively one sided show case, bouncing Mancito off the canvas a number of times.
The challenger came to fight and showed that from the off as he came out trying to attack Shimizu, but lacked the nuances needed to to get inside the much taller man. Instead Shimizu picked him off and scored a knockdown in the opening round.
Thanks to the knockdown Shimizu was winning 40-35 when the scorecards were announced, but Mancito wasn't going to go without a fight and continued to try and break down the champion. This came at a price and in round 5 the champion landed some heavy blows on the challenger, and scored the second, and third, knockdowns of the fight.
In round 7 Mancito was down again, and this time Shimizu wasn't letting him off the hook, going for the finish and forcing the referee in to stop the bout.
Prior to this OPBF title fight fans in the arena had seen Takuma Inoue (10-0, 2) [井上 拓真] take a competitive but clear decision win over former 2-time Japanese Bantamweight champion Kentaro Masuda (27-9, 15) [益田 健太郎], with Masuda refusing to ever quit and coming on strong late on. They had also seen Koki Inoue (10-0, 9) [浩樹井上] stop Korean visitor Dong Hee Kim (8-2-2, 3) in 4 rounds, whilst Ohashi novices Kazuki Nakajima (3-0, 2) [中嶋一輝] and Katsuya Yasuda (2-0, 1) [保田克也] had to settle for 6 round decision wins.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans in Yokohama will get the chance to see a pretty stacked card, with a couple of world title fights and an OPBF title fight. That same card will also feature a rather strong under-card, including a bout between the all action Koki Inoue (9-0, 8) [浩樹井上] and Korean (KBF) Light Welterweight champion Dong Hee Kim (8-1-2, 3).
Today those two men took part in their weigh in for their bout and both men came in on, or under, the contracted 140lbs.
The unbeaten Japanese puncher looked in amazing shape whilst coming in bang on the 140lb limit. He looked like a fully fledged Light Welterweight and it's clear that in 2018 he will have his eyes on titles, though of course will need to come through here.
The visitor, who is actually risking his OPBF ranking, came in well was way under the limit, coming in at around 137.3lbs. He looked, like many Koreans, very lean and like he could have done with packing on a few more pounds.
Although it's unclear if, or when, this bout will be shown on TV there is hope it will be shown uin the new year on a tape delay broadcast.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
We've known for a while that 2017 will end with two big Japanese cards, one on December 30th and the other on December 31st, though details of the under-card for those shows haven't been very widely announced. Thankfully though we have now began to see details emerge for both shows, and both feature some notable names.
We've known for a while that the first show, on December 30th, will be headlined by WBO Super Flyweight champion Naoya Inoue (14-0, 12) [井上 尚弥], who faces French challenger Yoan Boyeaux (41-4, 26). We've also long known that that card is also going to feature Naoya's younger brother Takuma Inoue (9-0, 2) [井上 拓真], who faces former 2-time Japanese Bantamweight champion Kentaro Masuda (27-8, 15). What we didn't know until the last 24 hours was that Koki Inoue (9-0, 8) [浩樹井上] would also feature, meaning all 3 of the Inoue clan will be in action on the show.
Koki will be up against Korean visitor Dong Hee Kim (8-1-2, 3), who has never been stopped, and has gone 10 fights unbeaten following a decision loss. Not only is Kim in good form, but he also managed tofight to a draw with the talent In Duck Seo for the Korean Light Welterweight title.
Other Ohashi gym fighters now confirmed for the card are former amateur standouts Kazuki Nakajima (2-0, 2) [中嶋一輝] and Katsuya Yasuda (1-0, 1) [保田克也]. Nakajima will be up against domestic foe Taiga Higashi (4-1, 1) [東大河] whilst Yasuda will be facing off with a Korean visitor.
On the 31st we get a world title triple header, with the stand out bout being the Light Flyweight title unification bout between WBA champion Ryoichi Taguchi (26-2-2, 12) [田口良一] and IBF champion Milan Melindo (37-2, 13). We now know that along with the three world title bouts the card will also include former world title challenger Shingo Wake (22-5-2, 14) [和氣 慎吾] and recent OPBF title challenger Masataka Taniguchi (8-2, 6) [谷口 将隆]. Both of these men will be facing Thai foes, in what we suspect will be easy wins, but it's clear the plan for bother fighters is to have something big in 2018, and just want to keep ticking over befoe the year comes to an end.
This past weekend Friday Korean fight fans had their latest chance to catch a KBF show, with the headline bout being a Korean title bout between Dong Hee Kim (7-1-2, 2) [김동희] and In Duck Seo (8-0-1, 5) [서인덕].
The fight saw the two men trade knockdowns during the fight, but at the end neither man had done enough to claim victory with the bout ending in a draw, resulting in Kim recording his first defense of the KBF Light Welterweight title.
For fans interesting in watching the bout it will be shown on Korean TV on tape delay later this month.
Sadly specific details on the bout are hard to come by with even our usual Korean sources having very limited details, and the only real footage we've seen of the bout has been courtesy of busanmbc.co.kr, who featured some very brief highlights of the bout.
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