Earlier today in Korea there was a rush for gold with a trio of WBA Asia titles on the line in Jeonju. The titles might not mean much in the grand scheme of things, but for many of the fighters fighting for them today they are seen as stepping stones towards bigger bouts, and in Korea any sort of stepping stone towards a bout is significant.
The first of 3 WBA title fights came at Super Bantamweight and pit local fighter Min Jang (10-0-2, 2) [장민] Chinese visitor Junhui Zhao (4-6-2 1).
The 19 year old Jang looked the faster, smoother man from the off and controlled swathes of the bout behind his speed and his movement. To his credit Zhao marched forward through out the bout but was made to look slow and clumsy but the local teenager who piled up the rounds without ever really needing to move into any high gears.
After 10 rounds here there was no questioning the decision, with Jang taking the win on the scorecards and claiming his first international title, having previously held one of the Korean Super Flyweight titles last year. On paper this was a good learning experience for the local, though we do wonder whether he has the power to move up through the levels as he matures.
The second WBA Asia title fight was another victory for the Korean fans to celebrate, with 22 year old Woo Hyun Kim (9-1, 1) [김우현] taking a decision win over former OPBF Flyweight champion Keisuke Nakayama (11-6-2, 5) [中山佳祐] for the WBA Asia Super Flyweight title. This was much more competitive than the Super Bantamweight bout and Nakayama was there to win, having genuine moments through out. Kim though played safe, boxed and moved and racked up the rounds, whilst picking his moments carefully. This was a really mature and level headed performance against a good opponent and it's clear Kim has got the potential to go far.
Sadly at the time of writing this bout between Kim and Nakayama is the only one we have scorecards for, with the judging going with Kim 97-93, twice, and 96-94. Those score did reflect the competitive nature of the bout, and like the judges we felt Kim did enough to take the victory.
The third WBA Asia bout sadly didn't go Korea's way with defending WBA Asia Middleweight champion Min Hyun Yang (9-4, 8) [양현민] being out pointed by skilful Italian born Australian based fighter Danilo Creati (6-0, 1) . The very talented Creati dominated much of the bout with his crisp clean punching, quicker hands and smart footwork.
Creati controlled the distance and tempo through out, and limited Yang's success to flashes. The rugged Yang struggled to move through the gears, and despite the occasional clean and solid shot he could never follow up with Creati regaining control quickly every time Yang seemed ready do build some momentum.
After 10 rounds there was no doubting the decision, with Creati the very worthy winner here.
Over this weekend the KBM were busy confirming numerous bouts, one of which was the next bout for talented teenager Min Jang (9-0-2, 2) [장민], who looks to move up a level and fight for his first international title.
The talented 19 year old will face off with Chinese visitor Junhui Zhao (4-5-2 1), in a bout for the WBA Asia Super Bantamweight title, on December 28th.
The Korean youngster, who won the KBM Super Flyweight title in April, has seen his body out grown the Super Flyweight division and he's moved to Bantamweight, and now Super Bantamweight. He's had a busy 2019, which included his title win and a win over Japan's Wataru Ikegami, and he's obviously wanting to end the year on a high.
Zhao on the hand is a 25 year old who is relatively unproven, though has fought in Korea before, and went 6 round with Woo Hyun Kim back in June. From what we understand, though have yet to have confirmed, is that he ended up picking up the WBA regional title this past September, when he beat Yangyang Wang, and will be defending the belt for the first time here, against Jang.
According to Korean sources this bout will be televised live, though no channel was confirmed for the bout at the time of writing.
(Image courtesy of boxingm)
On October 21st Korean fight fans in Daejeon get a potential treat as Boxing M put on a brilliant looking Korea Vs Japan show, with 7 set bouts, including 5 Korea Vs Japan bouts.
The main event of the show is one of two all Korean bouts, as Doo Hyup Kim (10-6-1, 5) [김두협] takes on Gun Woo Wang (4-2-2, 1) [강건우] in a bout for the Boxing M Korean Light Middleweight title, with Kim making his first defense of the title. Kim won the belt in March, with a narrow decision win over Boo Hyun Baek. Gang on the other hand is getting his second shot at this particular title, and will know that another loss here will likely see him taken out of title altogether, having also lost in a Korean Lightweight title fight.
The only other all-Korean bout will see Chul Yoon Ji (3-3, 1) [지철윤] battle against Dong Young Kang (3-5-2) [강동영] in a contender bout, with the winner likely to face the victor from the main event.
Aside from those two all-Korean bouts the rest of the contests will be Korea Vs Japan, with 5 bouts pitting the two countries against each other.
Those include some really mouth watering contests, including a bout between Min Jang (6-0-2, 2) [장 민] and Fumiya Fuse (6-0, 1) [富施郁哉]. The 18 year old Jang is a tall Super Flyweight, at just under 5'10" and despite having two draws on his record is a very capable and promising youngster. Fuse is also a youngster, but made a bit of a name for himself last year, when he won the All-Japan Rookie of the Year at Bantamweight, stopping Hiroki Tokuyama in 4 rounds to claim the Rookie crown. With both men being youngsters, and both being southpaw this really does look very interesting as a match up.
Another of the really attractive match ups on this card will see Korean based Mongolian Batzorig Batjargal (3-0, 2) face off against the 2017 All Japanese Rookie of the Year at Welterweight Hironori Shigeta (5-1, 3) [重田裕紀]. This, to us, looks like it could be mouth watering with Batjargal having impressed in recent bouts, albeit at the Korean Rookie level and Shigeta riding a 5 fight unbeaten run, including a huge win in the Rookie final against Rikuto Adachi. This should, stylistically, be very exciting.
Sadly at the moment there is no TV for the card yet to be announced, though fingers crossed that it will be made available to watch, as it looks very well matched and very exciting!
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