Before the pandemic hit it seemed like South Korean boxing was heading in the right direction, with prospects being unearthed, some interesting match ups on the radar and a lot of promising developments. And then it all crashed down, with bouts being cancelled, tournaments being postponed and then taken off the calendar all together and the momentum the country was building came to an almost instant stop.
Thankfully we have seen Korean organisations begin to get the ball rolling again in 2021, but it's been a slow process. An almost tediously slow process.
Thankfully as we head towards the middle of the year it does seem like things will be picking up, and today Boxing Management Korea (KBM) announced that they would be involved in a WBC Asia Silver Welterweight bout on July 3rd, as they continue to try and rebuild the damaged Korean boxing scene.
The match up for the belt will see Min Ho Jung (10-3-2, 1) take on Hwang Kook Je (6-2-2, 2), in what should be a pretty solid match up in Gyeonggi Province.
Of the two men the 27 year old Jung is the younger fight, slightly, but the more experienced man. He is a former Korean champion at 140lbs and has tested himself against some tough opponents, the most notable of which was Daishi Nagata, who he ran very close in 2019.
Je is slightly older, at 28, and much less proven. He is, however, a natural Welterweight and will be looking to make that count when the men get in the ring in July. He also managed to fight twice last year, whilst Jung was unable to secure a fight at all during 2020.
For those wanting to watch, the bout will be streamed over YouTube, on the KBM's very own channel.
Earlier this week Boxing Management Korea (KBM) announced the next fight for their Lightweight title, and it'll be coming surprisingly soon, with a date set of May 2nd!
The match up will see defending champion Moo Hyun Kim (6-1, 2) make his first defense of the title, which he won back in November 2020, as he takes on the once beaten Yun Seong Kim (4-1, 2), who is dropping down in weight for the bout.
Of the two men it's champion who is the more well known, and with good reason. The talented Kim has managed to fight internationally, scoring 2 wins in Japan including a very decent one over Hironori Shigeta, and of course managed to win the KBM title last year, when he stopped Dong Hyun Won in Hwaseong, stopping Won in 7 rounds. Although no world beater he's proven to be a decent fighter, and has rebuilt well from a 2017 loss to Gyu Beom Jeon, in what was his first 6 rounder.
The 26 year old challenger is much less well known and has fought much of his career at 140lbs. He is best known for losing in 2019 to the then touted Jeong Han Cha, an exciting Korean puncher who was being seen as one of the most exciting emerging talents in Korea at the time. Since then Kim has returned to the ring once, stopping Jin Hwan Kim in 2 rounds, in what was a bit of a mismatch.
Coming in to this the champion will clearly be the favourite, though the challenger will be a man with a point to prove.
For fans wanting to watch the bout, along with several under-card bouts, will be streamed on the Boxing M YouTube channel.
Yesterday the KBM (Boxing Management Korea) announced the details regarding their next Boxing M Super Featherweight title fight.
The bout will see Kook Min Moon (7-1-1, 5) take on Tae Sun Kim (5-1-1, 2) on June 6th, with the men battling to win a title that was recently vacated by Urmat Amankulov (5-1-2, 4), who dropped from the Super Featherweight division to Featherweight.
The situation with the title has been a rather fluid one over the last 6 months or so. Originally the plan had been for Urmat to defend his title against Kim in December, before Urmat decided to move down in weight. Then the plan was for Moon and Kim to fight on April 4th, before that was delayed, with Moon suffering an injury that saw the bout needing to be rescheduled, with the men then agreeing to the June 6th date.
Coming in to this Kim really is lacking momentum. He has gone 1-1-1 in his last 3 bouts, dating back to mid 2018, and he didn't fight at all in 2020. Although an exciting fighter he has lacked in terms of noteworthy wins, with his standout result being a 2019 draw with the all action Jong Seong Kang, who has kicked on from that results.
The 21 year old Moon on the other hand is entering the bout on the back of a 6 fight unbeaten run which has seen winning 5 and drawing one. Not only is form behind moon but so to is recent activity, with the youngster winning 2 bouts last year and one earlier this year. He certainly has the moment heading into this match up
The bout is set to be streamed, along with the under-card, on the Boxing M YouTube channel.
With all the fuss on New Year's Eve we sadly missed a story from Korea which, looking back on things, would have put a downer on the day.
That was news from KBM that they had cancelled their annual "Battle Royal" tournament, explaining that due to Covid19 they had no choice but to cancel "Battle Royal 4" and that completing the tournament was essentially impossible.
As a result when boxing is back up and running in Korea KBM will prioritise fights involving the men who were supposed to compete in the quarter finals of the tournament. Those fighters will, however, need to wait until Covid19 is back under complete control in South Korea and boxing is allowed to take place in the country.
Given the ups and downs of Korean boxing in recent years this is certainly another negative, however it does seem like the KBM are planning big things for as soon as things improve in the country, and fingers crossed by the end of 2021 we see Korean fighters in the ring on a regular basis.
On November 29th we were expecting to see the next set of bouts from the BoxingM Battle Royal series, which were going to be a set of quarter finals bouts as the tournament continues it's slow, and much belated, move towards the competition's final.
Sadly however earlier this week BoxingM announced the show had been postponed due to Covid19.
The announcement came on November 23rd, which also BoxingM announce that the protests set for November 25th were cancelled.
At the moment there is no set date for when things will be taking place, though the hope is that it will be a temporary postponement, and not something that lasts too long. There is, however, a fear that it could end up being a prolonged one, and potentially even derails the KBM's new streaming service, which was launched this month with this show set to be the second on made available on the service.
The statement from BoxingM states that these events were cancelled due to local government recommendations in the region. With that in mind it's likely these events will not be going ahead until the local authorities feel that events like these are completely safe in the region. That is unless, BoxingM decide to try holding them in some other region of Korea, though that seems unlikely, for now.
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