Earlier today in Seoul we saw a KBC Featherweight title bout as defending champion Urmat Amankulov (5-1-2, 4) [우르마트.아만크루프] took on Dong Kwan Lee (14-2-2, 6) [이동관] clashed in an entertaining battle on a show promoted by Hannam Promotions.
From the early going this was exciting and entertaining with Amankulov pressing forward and Lee being forced to fight off the back foot, pick his moments to come forward and launch big shots off the back foot. This made for a fun dynamic, with a lot of big shots being thrown by both. It was however a more technical bout than we typically see in Korea, and both men were showing some defensive know how. For Amankulov there was a tight guard that he was boxing behind, and a nice jab setting up the distance. For Lee there was counter punching, he was using his lead hand to create space and some under-rated footwork to cope with Amankulov's pressure.
After a relatively competitive start we saw drama for the first time, as Amankulov was left cut, from a clash of heads in round 4. The cut was a nasty looking one, but it passed a doctors inspection and, to credit the corner, they took care care of it really well at the end of the round.
Despite being cut Amankulov wasn't discouraged and rocked Lee at the end of round 5 and again early in round 6 as Lee started to press more, and looked to turn the contest into a brawl. The brawling lead to more headclashes and in round 7 Amankulov ended up getting the worse of another nasty headclash. He wasn't cut this time, but was in pain and seemed to lose his composure just a touch when the fight resumed.
With the rounds ticking away the bout was becoming more and more of a fight. The exchanges were becoming more frequent, more brutal and more exciting as both men stood and let their hands go. Sadly for Lee however he seemed to be the one breaking off from the exchanges more often, and seemed to be the man who was more likely to want some space and time to work, whilst Amankulov marched forward, hunting his man.
It seemed Amankulov should have felt like he was in a comfortable lead heading into the 10th and final round. He, however, fought like a man who wanted a KO and continued hunting Lee, trying to get the fight up close with his pressure and high guard, then land his bombs up close. Lee, to his credit, tried to survive, hold spoil and was eventually forced to fight back, despite being tagged by some monstrous shots by Amankulov.
After 10 rounds Amankulov raised his arms in celebration whilst Lee looked a beaten man. Despite that we still went to the score cards and things were tense. A few moments later the scores were read out, and Lee had got the decision, becoming the new champion as a result, and taking a very questionable decision.
Earlier today we were informed that the Korean fighter Dong Kwan Lee (12-2-2, 5) [이동관] would be stepping up in a big way on January 18th when takes on unbeaten Filipino Jenel Lausa (10-0-1, 6), in a bout for the WBA Asia Featherweight title.
The talented Korean is the current BoxingM Super Featherweight champion, but is set to vacate that title for this bout, at a lower weight, where his team feels he is best suited.
Lee has had a good 2019, picking up 3 wins including a stoppage win over Filipino Anthony Sabalde in June, and although he's still got a linger TKO loss to Jun Zhao hanging over his head he has reeled off 4 straight wins. He's bounced back well from that Zhao loss, and at 27 years old seems to hitting his stride.
Lausa on the other hand is 31 years old and dubbed the "Demolition man". He'll be looking to demolish the hopes of Lee in what will be his first bout outside of the Philippines. Although not well known away from home Lausa has impressed and holds notable wins over Jon Jon Estrada and Carlos Lopez, and a draw with Jhunriel Ramonal.
At the moment the TV rights of this are unclear, tough KBM have stated it will be televised live, and will take place in Jeon ju.
(Image courtesy of the KBM)
The main event of a BoxingM show today in Dongducheon, South Korea, saw the BoxingM Super Featherweight title have a new champion, as Dong Kwan Lee (10-2-2, 4) [이동관] took a decision over Hyun Je Shin (10-9, 2) [신현제], who was looking for his first defense of the belt.
The fight started at a brilliant pace, and despite the fact the ring looked huge the two men didn't take long to find each other in the center of the ring and begin having a phone booth war. The high tempo, and up close action continued into round 2, though it was Shin often looking like the man with more wrinkles to his game, getting out of range and choosing when to come in. Sadly for Shin he more intelligent footwork didn't really help him when it came to actually trading blows, which is where Lee excelled, with crisper and cleaner punching.
By round 3 both men began to show signs of feeling the tempo, but neither wanted to give an inch and it meant we continued to get some amazing back and forth action up close with bombs from both landing cleanly. It wasn't the cleanest or most technically beautiful action you're going to see, but it was all out action with neither wanting to be the one to back off.
Whilst the action would slow down as the fight went on the style never changed with both feeling like they were getting the better of fight in a thrilling, action packed inside war. It seemed like Lee was the one landing the hard shots, but Shin was often the man who seemed to be out landing his foe.
One of the very rare breaks in action was in round 8, when Shin had to see the doctor due to a cut over his right eye. It was a pretty brutal cut in fairness, but he seemed fine to continue and would instantly go back to having a war with Lee when the fight resumed.
Despite both men throwing, and seemingly landing, a huge number of punches we some how ended up reaching the final bell. The only round not to be action packed was the final one, with Lee backing off more than he had in the previous 9 rounds, likely feeling like he had done more than enough to take the win. Even though he backed off he wasn't able to avoid some wildly entertaining sequences with Shin who kept coming forward and trying to make it into a tear up.
At the final bell both men celebrated, both looked exhausted, and both looked like they had been in a hard, pulsating 2-way fight. It had been a very special fight, and we suspect that it will be on the short list for the 2019 Korean fight of the Year.
The referee got the fighters to center ring and ended up raising Lee's hand, in what we believe was a split decision, to crown the new champion. This was Lee's 7th win in his last 8 and he looked very strong at Super Featherweight, a surprise given he had fought at Super Bantamweight last September. For Shin this does end his reign but the 24 year old will likely bounce back, and will have built on his reputation despite losing.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!