Last year we reported that former world champion Yong Soo Choi (29-4-1, 19) [최용수] was set to make a comeback, more than 12 years after his last fight. At the time, just over a year ago, the return to the ring was pencilled in for August 2015 however nothing came of the story which appeared to vanish as suddenly as it began.
Today however we were informed that Choi will indeed make a comeback, with his return now pencilled in for April 9th 2016, and an opponent for the Korean has been named.
According to Japanese promoter Hanagata, the promotional outfit of former world champion Susumu Hanagata, it'll be their fighter Kazuya Nakano (9-5-1, 7) [中野 和也] who will share the ring with Choi, at a yet to be named venue in Korea.
Aged 43 Choi will be returning to boxing after a 13 year break, though some do suspect that this bout will be little more than a one off for the former WBA Super Featherweight champion.
At his best Choi was a real handful and scored notable wins over the likes of Victor Hugo Paz, Yamato Mitani, Orlando Soto, Lakva Sim, Koji Matsumoto and Gilberto Serrano, whilst running up 7 world title defenses between 1995 and 1998, when he was narrowly dethroned by Takanori Hatakeyama. Choi would later challenge Sirimongkol Singwancha for the WBC Super Featherweight title in 2003, in what would be his latest bout, though he came up very short in against the Thai.
For the 29 year old Nakano this is a hugely significant bout and one that he will feel like he's the favourite for. Saying that however he is 2-3-1 (1) in his last 6, having been stopped in all 3 of those losses. Whilst he has been mixing in good company, losing to the likes of Ricky Sismundo, Kenichi Ogawa and Masayuki Ito, he does seem to have found that he's a level below the top domestic fighters and may well struggle if Choi is even half the fighter he used to be.
Although somewhat limited, and a man who confesses the "giving up", Nakano is a solid puncher and will be hoping that his power and youthfulness will be the difference when the two men step in the ring.
Although a venue hasn't been announced we have not only a date, April 9th, but also the other contracted details. Firstly the bout is scheduled for 10 rounds, the first time Nakanko has been set to go more than 8, and will be fought at a contracted limit of 61KG, just under 134.5lbs.
For those who haven't seen Choi we have included his world title win over Paz below.
(Images courtesy of the KBC and Hanagata Gym)
Former Korean world champion set to make ring return...12 years after his last bout!
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