The first of 3 title bouts in Korea today saw a new KBF Welterweight champion being crowned
The bout began with the talented Heuk San Lee (10-2-2, 5) [이흑산], a Korean based refugee originally from Cameroon, boxing well and using his athletic ability to out box Gyung Mo Yuh (6-6-3, 1)[유경모]. Late in the opening round Lee let his shots fly and seemed close to getting a KO before Yuh eventually fired back.
After a very rocky start Yuh seemed to decide he wasn't going to have let his big opportunity go by the wayside and began to pressure Lee, getting in his face, and crowding him for distance.
Yuh's tactics weren't the the most subtle, but they saw him putting Lee under pressure, taking away Lee's edge in speed and technical ability and turning it into a street fight. It was the only chance he had, and he knew it. He had to make this messy, rough and hard.
Despite the pressure Yuh struggle to have sustained success, and the effort he was putting in seemed to be taking more out of him than Lee.
By round 5 some of the intensity from Yuh's pressure had dissipated. He seemed like a man who was starting to tire, there was still fire in his belly, but the flame was starting to flicker. In round 6 Lee, who had been warned earlier in the same round, was deducted a point for use of the head. It seemed to spur on Yuh a touch, but he had taken some real punishment through the round, as he seemed to begin relying on his toughness a bit too much.
Despite looking spent in round 5 and 6 Yuh had a major break through in round 7 when he rocked Lee late in the round. Lee had put in a huge effort early in the round and had Yuh in trouble, before being rocked himself in a messy yet thrilling round, that felt like it might be the changing of the tide.
Lee came out for the start of round 8 with some energy after the minute's rest but failed to keep it up, and again Yuh came on stronger as the round went on, until both were close to a standstill. They did the same in round 9, as the footwork of both vanished, the defene of both did the same and they just engaged in a gruelling phone booth battle of wills, and physicality. This wasn't a toe-to-toe war with punches, but was a battle of sheer machismo,
The final round was another battle through exhaustion. Crisp clean punching was the latest thing to be forgotten as the fighters tiredly wailed wildly on each other whilst they were running on fumes. Both looked like their legs were ready to buckle beneath them.
After 10 rounds we went to the judges. It seemed, to us at least, like Lee had done enough. He had been forced on the back foot at times, but seemed to land the better shots, and seemed to see out the storms when he was hurt. It wasn't a dominant performance by any stretch, but it did feel like a win for Lee. The judges however went the other way, favouring the 32 year old Yuh, who got the decision and became the new KBF Welterweight champion.
The Korean fight scene had a big shot in the arm this past weekend with an excellent KBM show, featuring a couple of KBM title fights and the latest win from teenage sensation Jeong Han Cha. It's now been confirmed that it's going to get another one on March 3rd, with a KBF show that features several notable fighters.
One of those bouts is an excellent match up between In Duck Seo (10-1-2, 6) [서인덕] and Heuk San Lee (9-0-2, 4) [이흑산], who will be fighting for the KBF Welterweight title.
Seo is the current KBF champion, having won the title last September when he beat Moon Sung Choi. He began his career 8-0 (5), and despite some recent set backs he did score his title win in his last bout and at 24 he is still a maturing fighter. Lee is a Korean based Cameroonian fighter who has become a bit of a star in Korea and is a former BoxingM Light Middleweight champion. He's associated with TAP Boxing who will be looking to score his 4th straight win since fighting to a draw with Ma Roo Jung last July.
Another notable fighter on this card will be Ye Joon Kim (16-1-2, 8) [김예준] who takes on Thai visitor Anocha Phuangkaew (2-0, 2). On paper this looks like a mismatch in favour of Kim, who was once seen as the potential saviour of Korean, though the Thai fighter has got a reported 45-5 record in Muay Thai and could end up being a surprise package here.
A second KBF title fight will take place at 154lbs and see Dong Woo Kim (5-2, 3) [김동우] battle against Tae Young Suh (4-0-1) [서태영]. Neither of these have the profile of the men involved in the Welterweight title bout. Kim has scored 1 win in his last 3 bouts whilst Suh is unbeaten but has yet to score a stoppage.
Tomorrow fight fans in Korea will get the chance to see Korean fighter Jung Kyoung Lee (6-2-1, 2) [이중경] battle against Australian-Cameroonian Samuel Colomban (25-10-1, 11) for the OPBF Light Middleweight title, in what will be the first OPBF title bout on Korean soil since Min Wook Kim battled Valentine Hosokawa in August 2013!
Today Kim and Colomban took part in their weigh in and both men made weight.
On the scales Lee was the heavier man, weighing in at 153.8lbs, whilst Colomban was 150.9lbs, well under the 154lb divisional limit.
Also on this card will be a contest between Heuk San Lee (8-0-2, 3), a Cameroonian refugee in Korean, and Jae Duk Bae (3-5, 2). Lee made weight on his first attempt whilst Bae needed a second shot on the scales to make weight for the bout.
Related - Lee and Colomban battle for OPBF crown!
This past Saturday was a notable one for Korean fight fans as Boxing M held their latest show, and crowned two new Korean champions in what was an intriguing show from start to end.
The main event of the card was a Boxing M Light Middleweight title fight that saw Cameroonian Asylum seeker Heuk San Lee (3-0-1, 1) [이흑산] over-come Gyu Won Lee (4-3-1, 2) [이규원] for the title. Lee, also known as Abdoulaye Assan, came to career in 2015 as part of the Military World Games, and applied for refugee status soon afterwards. His first appeal for Asylum was rejected but he has made a second attempt, which is now pending.
The southpaw used his skills and movement to over-come an 11 year age gap, en route to taking a unanimous decision, with scores of 99-92, 96-95 and 96-94. And he hopes that the title will help him avoid being sent back to Cameroon, where he fears a lengthy prison setence.
In the other title bout Gwang Shik Na (3-7, 1) [나광식] over-came Da Won Seo (3-7, 1) [서다원], with scores of 98-93, 97-94 and 97-96, to claim the Super Flyweight title.
(Image courtesy of Yonhap news)
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