Every so often we get reminded of a closet class by accident, and that's the case with today's bout, which we stumbled on again recent and remembered just how brutal, exciting and thrilling it was. And also how controversial it was, added to the drama and the story of the fight, which was amazing even with out controversy! This was a bout from Korea that really had it all, and was at the highest of levels.
Lakva Sim (11-1-1, 10) Vs Jong Kwon Baek (20-0, 18)
Although not really well remembered in the west Lakva Sim is an historically significant name in Asian boxing. He was the first ever Mongolian world champion and the first real star from Mongolia, winning world titles at Super Featherweight and Lightweight and being the thorn in the side of bigger name fighters through the 1990's and early 00's. Wearing a weathered and weary face Sim was tough, heavy handed, exciting, aggressive and brutal. He was the product of the tough Mongolian conditions and having been a stellar amateur he was fast tracked, winning the PABA on debut and challenging for a world title in his 6th bout.
Although Sim came up short in his first world title bout, it only took until his 13th professional bout for him to claim a title. That bout saw Sim travel over to Japan and stop the hugely popular, and up to that point unbeaten, Takanori Hatakeyama to claim the WBA Super Featherweight title. He then travelled to Korea to make his first defense, taking on Jong Kwon Baek.
The then unbeaten Jong Kwon Baek was a rising hopeful of Korean boxing. He had won the Korean Rookie of the Year before winning the Korean and OPBF Lightweight titles. His early promise and power had seen him stop his first 11 opponents, and then go on a 7 fight T/KO run coming into this bout. He had proven to be exciting, explosive but was relatively untested, and even his title wins had been over limited opponents, such as Ali Albaracin. Although he was stepping up massively he had home advantage and the momentum of an unbeaten record.
The bout started, like many, with the men trying to figure each other out. It didn't take long for them to begin letting shots go though, with bombs being thrown within the first 90 seconds or so. It wasn't an all out fire fight straight away, but it was clear both were willing to let shots go and towards the end of the round, it had started to show signs that we could see something special.
The pace began to heat up in round 2 and early in round 3 the bout had become a thrilling war with Sim applying pressure and forcing Baek to fire back, as the two began to trade hooks and uppercuts. This continued through round 4 as the pace and tempo of the bout increased, with Baek trying to stamp his authority on the bout and Sim trying to prevent the local favourite from ahead of steam.
The fourth round really was something special as we saw two incredibly tough men landing bombs on each other and although round 5 was a little bit exciting the two men really did continue to land bombs through bout, with round 6 being another exceptional round that saw both men proving their incredible chins. That led brilliantly to a brutal 7th round, as both men again had their will to win tested.
Controversy struck in round 8, when referee Stanley Christodoulou deducted a point from Sim, but that didn't change the in ring action, which continued to be brutal, punishing and thrilling.
We won't ruin how this one ends, but if you like seeing two strong, powerful, tough guys go to war, this is right down your alley. A sensational, over-looked an brutal bout, with a touch of controversy, and a lot of action! A brilliant bout!
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