One of the very best things we get to do working on this site is watching some pretty obscure fights. Fights that, in all honesty, are little more than historic footnotes lost in annals of boxing history. And in fairness some aren't even that. When we get to watch some of these fights some obscure ones turn out to be something very, very special. Today we'd like to bring you one of those rare bouts that we doubt anyone has really spoke about, at least in any length, but is well and truly worth a watch.
Jong Kil Kim (18-10-4, 11) Vs Jong Jong Pacquing (56-21-6, 29)
In August 1997 Korean fighter Jong Hoon Yuh vacated the OPBF Light Welterweight title, after having made 6 defenses. As a result we needed to see a new champion crowned, and the bout to crown a new champion pitted two of Yuh's former foes together with Jong Kil Kim, a fellow Korean, against veteran Filipino Jong Jong Pacquing, a veteran Filipino.
On paper this had no right to be anything worthy of note, but what we got thrilled and delivered something truly brilliant.
Little remembered Korean fighter Jing Kil Kim was a tough, rugged fighter who made his debut in 1985, as a teenager, but struggled to make his mark early on. He came up short in a number of Korean title bouts before finally winning the Korean 140lb title. In 1996 Kim came up short in an OPBF title bout to Yuh in 1996 but after Yuh vacated Kim was right back in the mix, now as a 2-time Korean national champion, and was able to get his shot against Pacquing.
With over 80 bouts to his name at this point Pacquing was a legitimate veteran. He was a win-some-lose some type, but on his day he could be a nightmare for regional level opponents. He had debuted in 1980, aged 17, and had developed his skills in the ring. He had won the OPBF Lightweight title relatively early in his career, but lost it in 1985 to future world champion Tsuyoshi Hamada, becoming the first man to lose a decision to the big punching Hamada. He had also had a 4 bouts with former world title challenger Rod Sequenan. Like many Filipino fighters we see today, on his day he could be a nightmare.
As with many bouts this one started off with a bit of a feeling out process. The Korean local pressed forward whilst Pacquing boxed off the back foot. The feeling out process was however rather tense with the Korean letting some big bombs go, even if they did generally miss. Less than 90 seconds into the round however it was clear Kim wasn't a fan of having a whole round of feeling out his man, and instead wanted to take out Pacquing. The Filipino, to his credit, stood tough and continued with his game plan, but it wasn't long before he was getting drawn into Kim's fight, with the two trading shots as early as round 2.
What looked a relatively weak match up on paper was already starting to warm up nicely as Pacquing was meeting Kim with exchanges in round 2, but things were only just starting. By round 4 Pacquing's footwork was faltering and we were seeing more and more exchanges, and both men were taking clean, and huge, head shots.
The fight did slow down a bit as we went on, but it felt like it would only ever take a single shot to set off the touch paper again, in what was a genuinely compelling, and massively over-looked, war of attrition.
We'll admit the ending was anti-climactic, but the action in the early rounds more than made up for the underwhelming finish.
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