Whilst we've looked at quite a lot of obscure fights in our Closet Classic series, we haven't yet looked at a fight featuring the fairer sex. With Victoriva Vol 5 coming up next week we felt this was the ideal time to change that, and look at one of the most brutal female fights out there. The bout resulted in one of the most graphic injuries in female boxing history, so forewarning there is some graphic scenes and this fight, despite being a closet classic, is certainly not for everyone.
Ju Hee Kim (13-1-1, 6) vs Jujeath Nagaowa (9-7-1, 5)
Back on September 12th 2010 in Anyang Stadium Korean fans gathered to see once beaten hopeful Ju Hee Kim continue her rise. She'd been beaten back in 2002, bu In Young Lee, but had rebuilt with 11 straight wins, taken a number of minor titles and had scored a very credible win over Tenkai Tsunami. Despite a 53 week break from the ring she was supposed to keep her winning run going as she faced off with rugged but limited Filipino journey-woman Jujeath Nagaowa, a diminutive little battler who had lost of her previous 3 by stoppage.
On paper Kim almost all the advantages a fighter could ask for. She was the slightly taller fighter, the one with real momentum, at 24 she was slightly more physically mature than the 23 year old Nagaowa, and of course had home advantage. Despite being a clear under-dog Nagaowa didn't care, and from the opening seconds she had Kim on the backfoot, forcing Kim to fight back. That allowed Kim a chance to show what she could do, as she unloaded some 2-handed combinations on the Filipino.
The good back and forth in the early going saw both fighters landing some clean headshots, and it was exciting, but it certainly didn't prepare us for what was to come.
With the two often trading combinations, and regularly fighting up close it was Nagaowa's type of fight, and by the start of round 3 her shots had already started to leave Kim with swelling around her right eye. That swelling would become a major part of the fight, with Kim's left eye beginning to swell soon afterwards.
For much of the bout, which only became more and more exciting, the Korean was fighting on heart alone, with her face resembling a Picasso painting, disfigured in a way that is just simply not seen in female boxing. It would have been easy for her to quit, citing her injuries. It would have been logical for the referee to interfere and the doctor to stop the fight. But this is Korea, and they weren't going to derail their new female hopeful who was forced to fight fire with fire through a truly grotesque injury.
Despite the injury this would still be a bout worthy of attention for the brilliant back and forth, the heart, determination and action. The injury just added to the drama and further dragged the crowd into the bout, getting them involved in doing all they could to urge Kim to dig deep.
This is a bout that won't convince people to give female boxing a shot, but shows that female boxing can be just as brutal and damaging as male boxing, and can be just as dramatic.
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