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)
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