Many in Korea have tipped teenager Kyoo Hwan Hwang (2-0, 2) to be the next star of Korean boxing. The 19 year old was a top amateur in Korea and and has been ear marked by many in the country as the man who could, potentially, bring excitement back to the fractured Korean boxing scene.
Earlier today we got the chance to see Hwang fight in his first title bout as he went up against domestic foe Chan Hee Park (5-6-1) in a bout for the Korean Light Middleweight title.
In the opening moments it seemed like the men were on completely different levels. Hwang showed real sharpness to his work, he looked quick, accurate and like he was going to blitz Park in double quick time. Those moments however were short lived with the later stages of the round showing more of Hwang's flaws and limitations than his actual strengths as he was repeatedly tagged clean, and even seemed to be wobbled at one point. Whilst offensively Hwang had looked exciting and promising he was defensively flawed and limited.
In rounds 2 and 3 the action was thoroughly engaging though again it was Hwang who was showing the touches of excellence, though he did seem to be rocked towards the end of round 3. Sadly for Hwang all the effort was taking a toll on him as well as his foe and in rounds 4 and 5 both looked exhausted. With the pace slowing Hwang's extra class wasn't showing and instead opening were being made for Park who found himself have more success, and taking a lot less.
With the pace slowing it seemed that neither man had the power to really hurt the other though it looked like that sheer attrition was going to force the fight to an early conclusion. That however changed in round 6 as Hwang got a second wind and found a monster body shot, along with a nasty headclash, that sent Park down on to his hands and knees for the count.
The youngster had shown flaws, he had been hurt, he had looked exhausted and was clearly showing signs of inexperience, but in the end he had done enough to pull out the win and claim his first title in just his second professional bout. The flaws, which are there, are now something for him to work on and if he does he may well become the star that Korean fans are hoping for him to be.
The event, staged as part of the KBC's attempts to revive the Korean boxing, was streamed online courtesy of promoter AK Promotions.
(Image of Hwang courtesy of AK Promotions)
In recent years fans in various countries have had the opportunity to see domestic boxing for free on TV. That boxing has ranged in quality from brilliant to awful but it's often been limited to merely being shown to a domestic audience.
This coming Sunday however fans worldwide get a treat as Korean promoter Andy Kim, of AK Promotions, will be streaming his show "Homecoming" internationally, and free, over Youtube.
The show in question will feature a pair of Korean title bouts, with the most interesting being a Korean Light Middleweight title fight between rising 18 year old star Kyoo Hwan Hwang (1-0, 1) and Chan Hee Park (5-5-1). The bout is really interesting with Hwang being viewed as, potentially, the best Korean prospect in years.
For those wanting to tune in to the show it should be available here and will be aired live.
At the moment we can't say much about the quality of the stream or the over-all production values but we have been impressed by previous AK Promotion shows, which have been put on youtube after they've taken place. In the past the production of the AK shows has been significantly better than any of the other shows from Korea and we're hoping for more of the same here.
Whilst we're hoping AK will publish the show, or at least bouts from it, following the event it isn't yet confirmed. What is confirmed, by Mr Kim, is that the show will be available live and we suggest tuning in if you're able to, if nothing else it will be a chance to see if Hwang is as good as hyped.
(Image courtesy of akpromotions.co.kr)
As we all know the Korean boxing scene isn't at a high point, and hasn't been for a number of years. Despite that there some parties that seem to be trying to rebuild the domestic scene in a country that gave us some of the best fighters of the 1970's and 1980's/ One of those parties is promotional outfit AK Promotions who recently announced a KBC (Korean Boxing Commission) title double header for July 12th.
The card isn't likely to turn around the fortune of the Korean boxing scene but, from what we under-stand, it is a good step forward an may well help develop one of the potential future stars of Korean boxing.
The first of two title fights will take place at 140lbs and see Kim Jin Soo (6-4, 4) facing off against Won Woo Min (6-1, 3). For Soo this is a second shot at a version of the Korean title having come up short last December against the then title holder Myung Soo Sun. Sadly we're unsure what happened to Myung's reign as champion, or his promising career.
Talking about promising careers it's thought that a youngster in the main event may well be the future of Korean boxing. That man is 18 year old prospect Kyoo Hwan Hwang (1-0, 1), who takes on Chan Hee Park (5-5-1) in a bout for the KBC 154lb title. Hwang was formerly a stand out amateur and is tipped for big things by those in Korea, if they can keep the teenager interested in the sport despite the fractured nature of the Korean scene.
On his debut, which we've included below, Hwang shined as he stopped Jung Ho Jang in an impressive performance. Many suspect he may be the most promising talent Korean boxing has right now and claiming a national title in his second professional bout would back up that idea, even if Park isn't the most testing of foes.
As well as the two title bouts the card is expected to feature a number of undercard contests, all scheduled for 4 rounds. It is however Hwang that seems to be the man to watch out for given the hype and expectation that those in Korea are giving him.
(Image courtesy of http://www.koreaboxingcommission.org)
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