Back in January the KBM held a small, but meaningful, show at the Kimjunghoon Boxing Center in Pyeongtaek. Whilst the venue was a very small one the card was a very significant one and featured a number of KBM title eliminators. Those bouts seem like they were essentially trying to set up the domestic title scene for the coming months with several interesting matches falling in to place as a results of those contests.
Two of those title eliminators in January took place at 154lbs where we saw teenager Sung Min Yuh (4-0) [유성민] defeat Se Yul Yang (3-5-2, 1) [양세열] and, Do Ha Kim (7-1) [김도하] over-come Seung Hee Lee (4-7, 1) [이승희]. Theses contests set up an excellent looking bout between Yuh and Kim for the title, though at the time there was no date set aside for the bout. That however changed recently, with a date and location being announced by the KBM.
Despite having a date set we still need to wait a while on this one, with the contest scheduled for May 3rd, on a show in Daejeon.
Notably this will be the first title bout for either man, but more interestingly it will also serve as a rematch of the Battle Royal 3 final at Light Middleweight, which took place last November. That bout saw Yuh take the victory by decision and give Kim his sole defeat.
Of the two men it does seem like Yuh has to be regarded as the favourite, given his prior win over Kim and his more impressive skill set, however Kim will be in the ring seeking revenge and will be driven by more than just winning the title.
At the moment no under-card details have been announced for this card, though given the show is almost 3 months away that's not too much of a surprise.
Note Kim was previously known as Yoo Seung Jun (7-1) [전유승] until he fought in his eliminator changing
According to multiple Korean sources we'll see Japanese Heavyweight champion Ryu Ueda (9-1-1, 5) [上田龍] defending his belt on March 10th in an at Korakuen Hall, albeit not against a Japanese challenger.
The sources from Korea have explained that Sung Min Lee (7-1, 2) [이성민], the former KBM Heavyweight champion, will be the one challenging Ueda. With the bout coming under the same rule that will allow Lito Dante (16-11-4, 8) to fight for the Japanese Minimumweight title against Masataka Taniguchi (12-3, 7) [谷口将隆] on March 17th.
This bout comes under a rule that allows fighters from one OPBF affiliated country to fight for the national titles of other OPBF countries.
For Ueda this will be his first defense, following his victory in December over the now retired Kotatsu Takehara (15-13-3, 8) [竹原真敬], whilst Lee will be looking to claim his biggest win to date.
As is the rule with this type of bout, if Ueda wins it counts as a successful defense of the title, and extends his reign. If he losses Lee will be the champion, until he leaves Japan. In theory he could defend the belt, if he wins, but in practice it would seem unlikely that he would stick around in Japan to extend his reign.
Interestingly Lee has vacated the KBM title due to this opportunity. Originally the plan had been for Lee to defend the title February 16th against Jong Kook Kim (6-1, 3) [김종국], before Sung Min Lee suffered an injury back in January.
Kim will now face off with Jae Min Kim (2-3-2, 1) [김재민] for the vacant KBM title, with their bout scheduled to take place at some point in March, though no date has yet been set aside for the bout.
Earlier this week we reported that the unification bout between WBA female Super Featherweight champion Hyun Mi Choi (17-0-1, 4) [최현미] and IBF champion Maiva Hamadouche (21-1, 17) was going to be rescheduled from February 22nd due to the Coronavirus. Now it's been revealed that two other boxing events have been postponed due to the illness.
One of those was the planned February 16th card that KBM were planning in Seoul. This card was going to be headlined by Tae Sun Kim (5-1-1, 2) [김태선] and Dong Kwan Lee (12-2-2, 5) [이동관] and has been delayed indefinitely.
The other was the planned "Rookie to Rocky" card that the KBF were planning for February 23rd. This card, like the KBM one, has been delayed with no new date announced as of yet.
Interesting the KBA, who were overseeing the Choi Vs Hamadouche bout, have announced that tickets that have been purchased will still be valid for the bout when it's rescheduled, and have made it clear that the bout has not been cancelled, just postponed. They have also announced that if fans want they can request a full refund. Likewise under-card fighters have been told they can cancel bouts set for the new date, when announced, if they wish.
Earlier today the KBM announced their MVP for the month of January.
The winner was 22 year old hopeful Woo Hyun Kim (9-1, 1) [김우현] who scored a career best win on January 18th and really did impress in a solid performance.
The youngster claimed the WBA Asia Super Flyweight title as he out boxed, out sped and out fought former OPBF Flyweight champion Keisuke Nakayama (11-6-2, 5) [中山佳祐] in Jeonju.
Unlike some MVP systems the KBM actually reveal what the fighters get as a result of their MVP award, with the organisation revealing that Kim will receive a significant amount of Adidas equipment and clothing, to wear in the future.
Interestingly the KBM also revealed the plans Kim has.
The next step in his career is to defend his title in April or May and work his way towards a potential world title fight next year. If he can achieve that then it's huge news for Korean boxing, but obviously it's easier said than done, especially given the relative lack of financial back Korean fighters have at the moment.
(Image courtesy of boxingM
Earlier today Korea BoxingM (KBM) announced the details of their fourth Battle Royal tournament.
This year fighters will be accepted into all 17 weight classes, a big increase from the last few years where they've actually been reducing the weight classes used. The first tournament was in 8 divisions, that dropped to 7 for Battle Royal 2 and then down to 5 last year.
The reason for the change appears to be the number of applicants and this allowed KBM to be flexible in their approach, merging divisions if they lack enough fighters, or using alternative weight classes if a division has too many fighters.
The hope is to have 16 fighters in each division, with the tournament set to begin on March 28th with the round of 16. The winners of that will return on May 16th in the quarter final, before the semi finals on July 11th and then the finals, which are scheduled for September 5th.
The tournament will see all bouts scheduled for 4 rounds except the finals, which will be 6 rounds. The the different stages will also come with different financial rewards.
As with all tournaments like this there are specific criteria for entrants. These include things like age restrictions, with the competition being open only to those between 16 and 42, with those over 37 needing doctors certificates of health. Fighters who have been top amateurs aren't allowed to enter and neither are those who have participated in a previous Battle Royal tournament.
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