his past weekend we saw a WBO Asia Pacific Light Middleweight title fight in Korea that resulted in Korean puncher Je Ni Ma (9-2-3, 8) [마제니] losing a split decision to Japanese visitor Hironobu Matsunaga (11-1, 5) [松永 宏]. The bout,which started slowly but did end up being enjoyable to watch, ended a 12 fight unbeaten run for Ma, who had gone 9-0-3 following a loss on his debut.
Since the fight it's been revealed that Ma suffered a really bad injury to his left hand, with the injury said to have occurred in round 3. Since the bout the fighter 's promoter has uploaded pictures of the damaged hand and, in all honestly, it looks painful.
Needing to fight without full use of the left hand will have been a major issue for Ma and it's a credit to him that he made his way to the final bell, though unfortunately it could be a whilst before we see him back in the ring and his return is tentatively noted as being next year, though given the state of the hand we're guessing he'll take a long rest before fighting again.
For those who missed the fight we've included it below.
(Image courtesy of Buffalo Promotions)
This past weekend Korean fans, and those tuning in on youtube, had the chance to see a WBO Asia Pacific Light Middleweight title fight as Russian born Korean puncher Je Ni Ma (9-2-3, 8) [마제니] battled Japanese visitor Hironobu Matsunaga (11-1, 5) [松永 宏].
Sadly for the fans in attendance their guy failed to come out on top, with Matsunaga claiming a well earned decision win to become the new champion, albeit doing so with a split decision.
both fighters showed a lot of respect to each other early, and it did look like Ma was the naturally bigger fighter, he was however looking confused with the southpaw stance of Matsunaga, who made life very difficult for the local favourite. That southpaw stance opened up chances for Matsunaga's straight left hand with a solid one dropping Ma in one of the early rounds, and Ma was later hurt in the same round from another stiff left hand as the two men opened up on each other and looked to unload.
After Ma was dropped the action did become more excited and Matsunaga grew in confidence and Ma looked to wilt under pressure, looking to land with his power shots but not having success.
By the end of the bout it seemed like Matsunaga had easily done enough for the win, but one judge disagreed, with the score cards reading 114-113, 117-114 and very bizarrely 112-115. We're not sure what the third judge was watching but Matsunaga out landed Ma, hurt Ma and seemed to be the boss for vast swathes of the bout following the slow start. Ma certainly had his moments,and his heavy handed did give Matsunaga some swelling around the face but his lack of consistency and inability to cope with Matsunaga's movement and stance were big players in the result.
For Ma it may be a case of going back to the drawing board. The loss, his first since being defeated on his debut, will be a hard one to bounce back from. For Matsunaga however the win is career defining win and one that sees him claiming a major regional title, and potentially climbing into the WBO world rankings.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
It's fair to say that your typical, modern day, boxing fan won't be able to many, if any, active Korean fighters. This weekend however they will get the chance to see a card from Korea live and for free with promoter Daehan Boxing putting their next show on youtube, as well as Korean channel KBS N Sports.
The broadcast on youtube, which we've embedded below, will begin with the under-card bouts, which will feature mostly low level contests though does have touted Japanese female fighter Chaoz Minowa (1-0, 1) [チャオズ箕輪] battling Chan Mi Lim (2-1, 2) in a 6 rounder in the final of the under-card bouts.
Now it's not clear if the Youtube broadcast will show the entire card, though suspicion is that it might, which would mean that fans tuning in to the free stream will get the chance to see a Korean Super Middleweight title fight, between defending champion Geun Sik Choi (3-0, 2) [최근식] and challenger Bang Jong Min (3-6-1)* [방종민], a non title fight between Dong Hee Kim (5-1-1, 1) and Filipino Ernie Sanchez (15-8-1, 6) as well as the main event bout between Je Ni Ma (9-1-3, 8) [마제니] battle Hironobu Matsunaga (10-1, 5) [松永 宏], who face off for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Middleweight title.
Although Korean boxing certainly isn't riding high there is hope there and with more shows being streamed it can help raise the profile and awareness of the Korean scene, which is seemingly on the upturn even if it's a long, long, long way from it's prime of the 80's.
For those interested in the feed you can either book mark this page, and watch it below, or go to to the promoters youtube channel, which is here 대한프로모션.
Back in August we reported that South Korean Je Ni Ma (9-1-3, 8) [마제니] would be facing Hironobu Matsunaga (10-1, 5) [松永 宏] for the OPBF Silver Light Middleweight title on October 9th. According to Ma's promoter that bout will still go ahead however changes have been made with the title in particular changing.
No long will the bout be for the secondary OPBF title but instead however the two men will be trading blows for the WBO Asia Pacific title, as the JBC and the WBO continue to strengthen their allegiance.
The bout, as mentioned in August, is a very attractive one with a puncher, in Ma, battling a talented boxer in Matsunaga, although the title has changed the bout should still be a very intriguing one with neither man likely to feel they should be regarded as the under-dog.
Whilst we now know the title has changed we still don't know anything new in regards to the under-card, however WON Promotions do seem to have a developing relationship with their counterparts in Japan and we'd not be shocked to see several Korea Vs Japan bouts, possibly with another international title bout of some description also being on the show
Last week we reported that Korean puncher Je Ni Ma (9-1-3, 8) [마제니] would be back in the ring on October 9th to fight in an OPBF silver Light Middleweight title fight in Korea. At the time no opponent was set for Ma, though we had been told that it would likely be a Filipino fighter. Today we've seen our Korean sources indicate that a fighter has been found to be Ma's opponent for the bout, and it's actually a big step up for Ma.
The fighter that we've been told will be facing Ma is Japan's Hironobu Matsunaga (10-1, 5) [松永 宏], who is ranked #7 in Japan but unranked at the OPBF in their July rankings, whilst Ma is ranked #1.
Coming in to this bout Matsunaga is on a 4 fight winning streak since being stopped, back in December 2014, by the KO sensation Yuki Beppu, in what was the All Japan Rookie of the year final. His 4 fight winning run has consisted of victories over Hisao Narita and former Japanese Middleweight champion Sanosuke Sasaki. It's not the most impressive run but it's certainly not a weak one with two two names being solid wins for the 28 year old Southpaw, who is showing real potential.
As for Ma he is currently ion a 5 fight unbeaten run, where he has win and defended the KBF Middleweight title and beaten former OPBF title challenger Michael Speed Sigarlaki. On paper his record might not look amazing, especially with the 3 draws and a loss but he has fought back well after a 0-1-1 start to his professional career and has gone from being a young Light Welterweight into a fully fledged Light Middleweight. Notably his boxrec is incomplete, missing his latest win on a KBF show, though it doesn't take away from the fact that is a nasty puncher who is coming into his own in recent bouts.
We expect that the KBF will confirm this fight in the coming weeks but our source has said that it's a done deal with the winner to become the '1 contender for the current OPBF champion Takayuki Hosokawa (28-10-5, 9) [細川 貴之].
Je Ni Ma to get OPBF silver title fight!
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