Earlier today fans at Korakuen Hall had the chance to see a really interesting card put on under the Dynamic Glove banner.
On of the most notable bouts saw big punching Minimumweight prospect Kai Ishizawa (6-0, 6) [石澤開] continue his rise through the ranks with his 6th straight stoppage win, stopping Indonesian journeyman Silem Serang (13-20-2, 1) in 4 rounds.
The hard hitting Ishizawa applied his trademark pressure from the off and seemed intent on seeing off the visitor as soon as possible. He would drop Serang early in the bout, showing his power, but failed to stop the Indonesian. Serang showed his bravery by getting back to his feet, but he couldn't handle the power of Ishizawa who drop him again and again. In total the Indonesian would recover from 3 knockdowns, getting applause from the crowd for his bravery, before being stopped after a 4th knockdown with just 8 seconds of round 4 remaining.
As well as Ishizawa there was a number of other notable bouts on the card. Among those a narrow decision win for the 2018 East Japan Featherweight Rookie of the Year Hikari Mineta (6-1, 3) [峯田光], who narrowly over-came Motosuke Kimura (3-2-2, 1) [木村元祐] in one of the most competitive bouts on the card. This 6 rounder was saw Mineta win with two scores of 58-57 and one of 59-56, though Kimura did have a strong argument for a draw, at the very least.
Another notable bout on the card Ryota Toyoshima (11-2-1, 8) [豊嶋亮太] score a 3rd round win over Korean Woo Min Won (10-2, 6), in a bout that looked really competitive on paper. Coming in to this Won had stopped 3 Japanese foes, to boast a 3-0 (3) record against Japanese fighters, but Toyoshima ended that run when he forced the referee to step in and save Won when he was trapped in the corner taking shots. The bout had started slowly but warmed up in round 2 and then Toyoshima got the big break through and secured one of the best wins of his career so far.
One other bout that took place here saw former Japanese and OPBF champion Charles Bellamy (28-4-2, 18) come up short against Yuto Shimizu (13-4-2, 5) [清水優人], in an 8 round contest. These two had fought last year, with Bellamy taking a very hotly contested decision and this immediate rematch was equally as competitive as their first. Shimizu, at times, looked unorganised, off balance and sloppy,but out worked the hard hitting Bellamy to take the decision, and avenge his 2018 loss. It's worth noting that this leaves Bellamy's career in a worrying position, with the 37 year old Japanese based American likely considering retirement sooner rather than later. As for Shimizu the win puts him in the mix for a potential title fight later in the near future.
The crazy world of boxing in Korea got an interesting announcement this week, though one made on very short notice for a show set to take place on October 29th, as part of the newest Korean boxing board.
The card will be headlined by two interim WBC EPBC title bouts.
One of those is an interim WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council Lightweight title bout, as Il Kwon Kim (6-3, 3) faces off against Ryo Akahori (6-3, 1). The bout will is scheduled for 10 rounds and the winner will likely be moved into a bout for the full version of the crown, possibly in 2017. Last time out Kim won the KBC Lightweight title, with an opening round win over Gun Woo Gang, but that is his only fight in in the last 36 months. Akahori on the other hand has fought just once in 5 years and is unlikely to be much of a threat for Kim given that stretch of inactivity.
The other title bout will see Woo Min Won (8-1, 5) battle against Taisho Oazawa (21-8-2, 13) for the interim WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council Light Welterweight title. Won is one of Korea's most notable hopefuls and is a former Korean Light Welterweight champion, who scored a huge win back in May against Daiki Koide, stopping Koide in the 3rd round to record a third straight stoppage win. The 36 year old Ozawa wil be ending a 3 year break from the ring for this bout and fighting for the first time since a 2013 loss to Rey Labao, and he will be making his international debut.
The under-card features 2 other Korea Vs Japan bouts though at the moment it doesn't appear that the show will be televised or broadcast online in what appears to be a strange move from the promoter, who we have been informed holds a rather large kitty for Korean boxing could help attract new fans. It's clear some of that kitty has been spent here on the WBC EPBC sanctioning fees as well as the fighters but it wouldn't have cost much for the promoter to follow other Korean promoters and stream the show on youtube.
The Korean boxing scene is certainly a mess at the moment with multiple oganisations and factions all leading to a very splintered running of the sport in the country. Today however the KBC took centre stage as AK Promotions streamed a show, dubbed "Homecoming" on their youtube channel.
The card didn't feature massive names nor did it feature future world champions, but it did give us 5 bouts, and several hours of entertaining action, with a couple of KBC title bouts.
The first of those title bouts came in the show's penultimate bout and saw the wild Woo Min Won (7-1, 4) successfully claim the KBC 140lb title.
From the opening moments Won let his hands go with crude and wild shots aimed in the general direction of his opponent, Jin Soo Kim (6-5, 3). Many of the shots missed the target whilst Kim himself took his chance to land some intelligent blows and through the first round it seemed Kim had his man figured out.
Despite being hit in the opening round Won wasn't to be discouraged and in round 2 found himself making contact with his foe relatively early in to the round. This time Won's power was felt by Kim who was dropped hard. Kim, showing the typical Korean boxing spirit, recovered to his feet but the damage was done and Won knew that he had a wounded fighter in front of him.
A follow up attack by Won would send Kim down for the second time in the fight. This time Kim wasn't to recover with the out being waved off as Kim struggled to got back to his feet.
With this win Won becomes the new Korean champion at 140lbs. Technically he doesn't look to be anything special, but he's confident, brash and has real belief in his power. Given the style in which he fought today he may not have a long reign as the champion but he'll rarely be in a dull fight.
(Image of Won courtesy of http://akpromotions.co.kr)
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