It's probably fair to say that 2014 was one of the worst years in Korean boxing history. The shows were few and far between, the split of the KBC and KBF left a mess and the effective vanishing acts of Min Wook Kim and Ja Ik Goo were nothing short of depressing. At one point it seemed the only thing Korean boxing had going for it was a few female world champions and there was next to nothing else.
Thankfully 2015 is a new year and it already seems apparent that the KBF are making a stand as they look to make a statement year.
Their first show of the new year was a genuinely interesting one featuring talent from Japan and Thailand, including the likes of Shingo Eto, the world ranked Takumi Sakae and Takuya Watanabe. Just weeks after that they began their national tournament with 4 shows of preliminary bouts. That tournament, which isn't actually recorded on boxrec.com, showed there was fighters in Korea wanting to get in the ring and try to make a name for themselves.
To begin March we will against see Shingo Eto and Takuya Watanabe return to South Korea where they will defend IBF regional titles against South Korean foes in a show that also features Jaesung Lee, the last Korean fighter to fight for an OPBF title, battling Jerry Nardo. Exactly 4 weeks later we will then get the chance to see the bad boy of Korean boxing Ye Joon Kim in action as he battles against Filipino visitor Vergil Puton for the IBF Youth Super Bantamweight title.
Between those two shows, on March 6th for those wanting to mark a date on their calendar, there will be a domestic show headlined by title bouts with a pair of KBF title bouts expected to take place.
It seems the KBC won't be taking this lying down and they have one of their shows penciled in for March 7th, though at the moment the details regarding that show are scarce. They are saying it will feature a title fight but other than that there is no other information. Sadly of all the Korean action it appears this will be the only show recognised by boxrec.com
The KPBF also aren't taking it lying down and they will do their own show at the end of March. What we know about this show is that it will be a "Rookie Parade" show with a number of novices in action.
Korean boxing might be in a mess with 3, if not 4, domestic bodies but even in it's messy state we'd rather have fights than not have fights and in some ways the mess, and competition, may push the sport forward after a year we would all wish to forget.
(Image of Ye Joon Kim courtesy of the KBF)
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