Not every Closet Classic is an amazing 2-way war, sometimes they are showcases of how great the sport can be and others they are times where a fighter essentially put themselves on the map. Today we take a bout from that final option, even if the fighter in question was only really on the map for a few short, but exciting years.
Ji Hoon Kim (13-5, 10) Vs Koba Gogoladze (20-2, 8)
The 21 year old Ji Hoon Kim was an unknown to fans outside of Korea when he made his US debut in May 2008. On paper he looked little more than a crude puncher, having lost 5 of his 13 bouts up to this point. That however hides the fact that he gone 11-2 following an horrific 2-3 start to his professional career. He had genuinely learned on the job, having had no amateur career at all and had shown real potential in winning the Korean Featherweight title less than a year after his debut before later winning the PABA Featherweight title. He had impressed enough to catch the eye of Banner Promotions who matched him with the more experienced, and more proven Koba Gogoladze.
US based Georgian Koba Gogoladze had been an Olympian in 1996 and had been a well travelled professional, making a mark with wins against the likes of Carl Johanneson and Antonio Davis. He had lost to Almazbek Raiymkulov, AKA Kid Diamond, and Alex Arthur, in an interim world title fight, but was a solid fighter, still highly regarded and came into the bout needing a win to get his career back on track. Aged 35 at this point he very much needed a win to remain relevant, but had only been beaten by solid fighters up this point. Given his amateur background we knew he could box, but we had no idea what he had left to offer the sport.
From the off Kim started fast, instantly making an impression just seconds into the bout. Gogoladze looked counter against the wild and aggressive shots of Kim, and straight away this was fire. Kim then seemed to be rocked with the Georgian landing some huge head shots on the Korean, who some how took the punishment. The referee told Kim he needed to see something, and Kim did enough to convince the referee he was fine before firing back on the Georgian.
Give how short the bout we won't spoil it, but this was an intense battle with bombs from both, none stop excitement and real action.
This is only a short Closet Classic, but one that every fan should watch. It's short, but thrilling
When we have some free time we're hoping to add a series of fun articles to the site. Hopefully these will be enjoyable little short features