On June 27th Korean fighters Tae Woon Jung (5-3-2, 4) [정태웅] and Joo Ho Lee (5-4-1) [이주호] will battle for the vacant KBM Super Flyweight title. On paper this isn't the most exciting match up, but given it's a Korean title bout it's fair to say that both men will be determined to pick up the win and will give us something a little bit special.
Coming in to the bout the 27 year old Jung will be the favourite. The man from Bucheon debuted in 2010, and despite having a stop start career, he has managed to do quite a lot in the ring. He has managed to fight in the US, something he did in 2015 against future Naoya Inoue opponent Antonio Nieves, and has also been active in the last two years, notable beating Michael Landero in 2020. His ceiling in the sport isn't high, byut he's never been stopped, has a good work rate, and is tough. Just the sort of fighter that makes Korean fights so TV friendly.
Lee on the other hand doesn't have his age listed on Boxrec and is a man who hasn been inactive recently. He debuted in 2016 and went unbeaten in his first 4, going 3-0-1, but has stumbled repeatedly since then going 2-4 in his last 6 bouts. Whilst that form is bad, it could have been worse with one of his wins, against Hideharu Takahashi being a very close one that he was perhaps a touch lucky to get. His last two bouts, both in 2019, saw him pick up losses, including an opening round blow out in June that year against Ki Chang Go for a Korean Super Flyweight title. Unlike his foe Lee has also shown a questionable chin, having been stopped in the opening round twice.
For fans wanting to watch this one KBM will be streaming the bout on their Boxing M YouTube channel, though it's likely that it's going to be behind a paywall to watch live.
On June 6th the Won Boxing Stadium in Wangjae, Seoul, will play host to the next KBM title fight, with Kook Min Moon (7-1-1, 5) [문국민] battling against Tae Sun Kim (5-1-1, 2) [김태선] for the KBM Super Featherweight title.
The 21 year Moon made his debut in 2017 and despite suffering an early career loss, losing in his third professional bout, he has rebuilt well and gone 5-0-1 in his last 6, including winning his last 3 by TKO. Notably all of his bouts so far have been 4 or 6 rounders and this will be his first bout over 10 rounds, a big ask of the youngster, but if he can pick up the win he can really use the title to advance his career and move towards a potential Oriental title fight. Despite the pandemic he has been active and has fougth twice in the last 12 months, including once back in January.
Of course Moon isn't the only guy involved here and Kim will also be looking to pick up a win and the title. His debut came back in 2015, and he was active in the first 12 months of his career, with bouts in his first 8 months. Sadly though he took 2 years from the ring, between 2016 and 2018, and hasn't been particularly active recently either, with his last bouts coming in 2019. Despiute that he'll also know that a win here could help him boost his career, massively. To date he actually has the more notable result on his record, a 2019 draw with Jong Seong Kang, but that was more than 2 years ago, and it's hard to know what his ring rust will be like.
For fans wanting to watch the bout will be streamed live on YouTube via the KBM channel, though the bout may end up being hidden behind a paywall and only viewable for KBM Youtube members, essentially paid subscribers.
This past weekend at the Won Boxing Stadium Sung Hun Kim (1-2-0-1) clashed with Yu Hoon Jo (0-1-0-1) with the two men fighting to a split decision draw. Following the bout the contest was reviewed by 18 judges in Korea who looked at footage of the bout and have officially over-turned the result, turning the draw into a No Contest.
The reason for the change wasn't a scoring error but instead an issue arising from the unique rules of 4 round bouts under the auspices of the KBM.
The KBM have a unique "2 knockdown rule", that only applies in 4 round bouts. It's pretty much the 3 knockdown rule, but with one less knockdown, and it means that in 4 round bouts if a fighter scores two knockdowns inside a round they get the TKO win. The bout in question saw a knockdown after just 48 seconds, with Kimbeing dropped, however the referee called it a slip. That was then followed by Kim being dropped, this time an official knockdown, which should have earned Jo the automatic TKO win. At least if the referee hadn't botched the original call. From the 18 judges who reviewed the bout 16 thought that the original knockdown was an official and fair knockdown, with only two agree with the slip, or push decision. They did also agree that the mistake was made not due to an error of judgement, but due to the positioning of the referee, who couldn't possibly have seen the shot from the angle he was at.
Although the judges, on the whole, agreed the the first knockdown should have been seen as a legitimate knockdown, they went on to state that had it been ruled as such there is no guarantee that he would have been dropped a second time, and with the bout now having taken place it would be impossible to declare a retro-active TKO loss for Kim, and instead the referees misjudgement needs to be accepted as part of the bout.
Despite accepting referees mistakes, the judgement to change the result from a draw, which is essentially a neutral result, to a No Contest, which is essentially a void result, is a strange one. We can't help but feel the correct result would be the draw, however it is interesting to see officials getting involved and trying to right a wrong. Even if they do make strange decisions like this one.
We also need to admit that this is the first time we've heard of the 2-knockdown rule, and it really does show just how unique rules in certain parts of the world are.
For fans wanting to see the fight we've include the official video of the bout below.
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.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!