One thing we seem to talk about a lot here at Asianboxing is how good the Korean boxing scene was in the 1980's, and it really, really was. It had all action fighters, huge punchers, tough guys with limitless engines and so many amazing bouts. Whether a Korean won or lost you tended to know that any fight with them involved was going to be worth watching, and then watching again....and again. There were, of course, fighters who failed to survive long at the top but then there were fighters who helped put divisions on the map with lengthy reigns. Today's Closet Classic we look at one of the great Korean fighters ever in action against a determined former world champion in what can only be described as a sensational fight.
Jung-Koo Chang (24-1, 11) vs Katsuo Tokashiki (19-3-2, 4)
In March 1983 Jung Koo Chang took the WBC Light Flyweight title from Hilario Zapata, avenging the sole loss on his record. Just 17 months later he headed into the ring hunting his 4th defense. By now he was a Korean star, and despite only being 21 years old he was a full grown monster in the ring, with an intense swarming style, an aggressive mentality and a criminally under-rated defense. Although not a huge puncher he did hit solidly and when that was combined with his insane output he was always capable of getting fighters respect, and grinding them down, both mentally and physically.
In the opposite corner to Chang was Japanese fighter Katsuo Tokashiki. Although Tokahsiki was only 24 himself he was already a veteran, with 8 world title bouts under his belt. He had held the WBA Light Flyweight title from 1981, when he defeated Hwan Jin Kim, to 1983, when he lost by technical decision in his 6th defense. An attempt to reclaim his title from Lupe Madera, the man he had lost it to, saw him come up short again, but in 1984 he travelled to Korea to take on Chang.
What we ended up getting here was one of the great Light Flyweight world title bouts.
We had Chang's intense pressure and work rate dragging Tokashiki into an all out war, a real toe-to-toe slugfest that saw both men unloading. It wasn't the style that suited Tokashiki best, but it was the fight that Chang was forcing, and even when Tokashiki seemed to get the upper hand he couldn't keep it going, notably being dropped when Chang was on the ropes in the opening round.
Although a technically excellent boxer Tokashiki couldn't hurt Chang or slow the Korean, who picked when to increase the pace. Despite that he tried, he tried to fight fire with fire, and despite being burned there was no doubting his desire. There were times when it seemed the pace was taking it's toll on the Korean who would take a few moments before putting his foot back on the gas and showing just how smart he was, and accurate he was.
What we got here was an instant classic and this is one that you'll want to give yourself about 40 minutes to enjoy, and trust us, you will enjoy it!
One of the great things about digging into the Closet for a Classic is that we can often find gems that really do deserve to be rewatched even if both of the fighters involved are relatively forgotten today. Today we look at one such bout that took place in the early 1980's and was all out action bout that was fought at an excellent skill level and despite the fact neither man had a great deal of power the bout was fantastic, high tempo, high level chess.
Katsuo Tokashiki (17-1-1, 3) vs Hwan Jin Kim (22-1-2, 8) II
In December 1981 Japan's Katsuo Tokashiki dethroned Korean Hwan Jin Kim, to become the WBA Light Flyweight champion. Notably Kim had won the title just 5 months earlier, stopping Pedro Flores who was known in Japan for ending the lengthy reign of Yoko Gushiken. Despite winning the belt in July he had managed to fit in a defense before losing to Tokashiki.
We're not going to talk about that first bout however, but their second bout, which took place just 13 months later. By this Tokashiki had ran up 3 defenses whilst Kim had bounced back with 2 low level wins.
Unlike most fights this didn't have a feeling out round, instead we saw both men looking to establish their jabs at a high tempo, from there on things only got better as they moved in and out of range, trading sharp punches on the inside and exchanging jabs as they tried to get close.
Through the rounds the jabs started to drop off a little bit in terms of number, however that was due to the fact the two men were getting closer to each other, and the middle rounds saw both men working more on the inside and trading more hooks and uppercuts up close. Despite the increase in power shots both stayed technical, there wasn't any significant drop in form, shots remained crisp and sharp from both, though neither had the power to really shake the other.
The form of both men only really began to falter in the later rounds as both began to tire.
Despite the bout going on long, and with Kim fighting with a bust nose in the later stages, the two men only got more intense in the later rounds, rather than slowing down, giving us an amazing 15 round bout, and a brilliant, exciting, thrilling battle of wills and skills.
If you've never seen this one, we can't recommend it enough. A genuinely brilliant fight!
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