Earlier today in South Korea we ended up getting a rather fun filled card from Bucehon with 8 bouts on it. The card, although not a massive one, was a highly anticipated one with a great all-Korean main event, and a co-feature that included one of the brightest and most exciting young talents in Korea.
Before we get into the main bouts we just want to say a few things about the under-card.
First the match up between Min Hyuk Jang (6-0, 5) [장민혁] and Won Hyung Yoon (2-5-1, 1) [윤원형] was much more entertaining than it had any right to be. Yoon came out for the upset and first 3 rounds he held his own with the unbeaten puncher. Sadly for Yoon from 4 onwards he ended up taking a beating, as Jang took home a clear decision. Jang had Yoon hurt through rounds 5 and 6, with blood coming from the mouth of Yoon, who managed to hear the final bell. A gutsy effort from Yoon, but one that will surely see him waking up in pain tomorrow.
Secondly we were really impressed by Young Joon Cho (1-0) [조영준], as he over-came Ji Ho Kook (1-4-1, 1) [국지호]. The talented Cho looked in control through out, though was caught a few times when he elected to stand and trade, making for some really entertaining action. If Cho can tighten up a bit defensively he could genuinely be someone who can make a mark at the regional level in the future.
So on to the main bouts. The first of those saw the unbeaten Jong Seon Kang (11-0-2, 6) [강종선] extend his unbeaten record with a 6 round decision victory over Seung Hyun Lee (3-3, 1) [이승현]. This wasn't the original bout for this card, but it was a pretty entertaining bout. Kang continually came forward, pinning Lee on the ropes, with Lee having some success with his counters, but in the end Kand seemed to come out the clear winner against a game opponent. Despite the win Kang was left with a bloodied nose.
It's worth noting that whilst the bout doesn't look good on paper Lee was actually a short notice opponent for Seong Yeong Yang (8-2-5, 4) [양성영], who was suffering from acute gastritis, forcing him out of the contest. Fingers crossed we do get Kang Vs Yang down the line, as that has the makings of a tremendous war.
The main event saw a new WBA Asia Welterweight champion being crowned as In Duck Seo (13-3-2, 7) [서인덕] over-came Jung Kyoung Lee (8-4-1, 4) [이중경] in a really compelling match up that had drama and controversy.
The opening round saw Seo come forward and pressure his countryman. Lee soaked up the pressure well, moving, countering and making the most of his superior foot speed and hand speed. From round 2 Lee began to box wonderfully, showing off a slick style of boxing not often associated with Korean boxers.
From round 2 to round 5 Lee was in control, he was boxing brilliantly, clearly winning rounds with his skills, movement and accuracy and seemed to make Seo completely doubt himself. He had no answer for Lee's southpaw stance, his jab or his movement. It seemed we were on the way to a clear Lee win.
Then we saw the momentum of the bout shift, with the final round of round 6 being a huge one for Seo, who's pressure began to tell, for the first time in the fight. It wasn't a clear round for Seo, by any stretch of the imagination, but it did begin a clear fight back by him, and he had a huge round 7, with Lee pinned on the ropes for much of the round. It seemed like Seo's pressure, pressure, pressure gameplan was taking a toll on Lee, who had used up a lot of energy with his movement.
In round 8 we saw momentum shift again, with Lee getting back to what had been so successful early on. Seo couldn't keep up the output he had shown in the latter stages of round 6 or in round 7 and he opened the door for Lee once again. Round 8 was also notable for a nasty headclash late in the round that left both men in agony as we went to the bell.
Just as it began to seem like Seo was tiring he then put his foot back on the gas in round 9, and he really went after his man in round 9, trying to break him down and rip him up. Lee tried to fight back, but now now he was clearly struggling to get Seo's respect and Seo had gone into terminator mode. Lee tried to neutralise the pressure in round 10, but by the end of the round Seo was all over him and it seemed like Lee was beginning to run on fumes. At one point in round 10 Lee was trapped in his corner whilst Seo went to work, making a statement and hurting Lee.
The 10th round was a brilliant 3 minutes of action and a real treat, but sadly we weren't to see any more. Before round 11 began Lee was taken to the ringside doctor who decided that he was unfit to continue.
There was then a few moments of pause, before Seo and his team celebrated with him having his hand raised. Unfortunately our Korean isn't great and whilst it could have been a TKO for Seo, based on the cut, our under-standing is that was actually technical decision* for Seo.
What ever the specific result, it did end up with Seo being crowned the new WBA Asia Champion, and claiming one of the biggest wins of his career. As for Lee this is his second loss in 3 bouts, following a 2019 loss to Akinori Watanabe in an OPBF title, bout at 154lbs.
*Please note we are awaiting clarification on the outcome
We're sad to learn today that the brilliant looking match up between Jong Seon Kang (10-0-2, 6) [강종선] and Seong Yeong Yang (8-2-5, 4) [양성영], set for August 8th, has had to be cancelled at late notice.
The KBA have revealed that Yang has had to be replaced due to suffering from acute gastritis, forcing the bout, which had us genuinely excited, to be pulled.
Instead of getting Kang Vs Yang, in what would have been a sure fire war, we'll instead see Kang facing late replacement Seung Hyun Lee (3-2, 1) [이승현], who will be fighting for the first time since losing a decision in April 2017.
The two men will be fighting over 6 rounds.
It's a real shame that Kang Vs Yang won't be taking place this weekend, though we suspect the hope, from both teams, will be to get that bout re-arranged for when Yang is recovered from his illness.
A few weeks ago the KBA announced that In Duck Seo (12-3-2, 7) [서인덕] and Jung Kyoung Lee (8-3-1, 4) [이중경] would face off for the WBA Asia Welterweight title in July. That bout, and entire show, has now been re-arranged, being pushed back from July 4th to August 8th.
The bout was one of the most interesting all-Korean bouts in quite some time, so whilst it's a shame we have to wait longer for the bout it's still great that it's taking place, and although the WBA Asia Welterweight title isn't worth much in the grand scheme of things it does add something extra to a bout like this.
Interestingly the KBA have also another a new supporting bout for the show, with the always fun to watch Jong Seon Kang (10-0-2, 6) [강종선] taking on Seong Yeong Yang (8-2-5, 4) [양성영] in a 10 round Featherweight bout. If this bout has been the reason the show has been delayed we're certainly not going to complain, as this is another fantastic match up and Kang is one of the most exciting Korean's in the sport, as we saw last year here in his great bout with Tomjune Mangubat in Vietnam.
Interestingly it appears that fans may be able to attend the event, with the KBA announcing that the ability of spectators to attend will be announced at a later date. Again if this is why the event has been delayed, to allow fans to attend, then it's hard to complain about the decision to push the show by a month.
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