Certain styles of fighters gives us more great fights than others. Styles that are safety first tend to provide very few great fights and very, very, few closet classics. Fighters like John Ruiz will never feature in anyone's lists of great fights, despite the success they had. Fighters who let their hands go, like fight at mid range, if not closer, and set a high work rate make for great fights to watch. Likewise fighters who have serious power and suspect chins can also make for great fights. Today we look at a fantastic bout from 1986 between two men who had similar styles that revolved around high volume output and standing at a close distance. Essentially matching each other in terms of styles.
Myung Woo Yuh (21-0, 5) vs Mario Alberto Demarco (20-2-4, 8) I
Korean great Myung Woo Yuh is widely regarded as one of Korea's greatest ever fighters. He, along with fellow Korean Jung Koo Chang, controlled the Light Flyweight division in the 1980's. Yuh won the WBA Light Flyweight title in late 1985, beating Joey Olivo by split decision, and made his first 2 defenses by mid 1986. After a 5 month break Yuh took on his third challenger, Mario Alberto Demarco. We'll talk more about Demarco in a moment, but for now we'll go on to talk about Yuh in more detail.
The Korean had debuted in 1982, aged 18, and had raced through bouts. He had somehow managed to fit in 12 bouts in his first year as a professional, winning all 12 by decision. He began to step up his competition in 1984, winning the OPBF title, before having an amazing fight with Oh Kong Son in 1985, before later winning the WBA title. He had been a whirlwind of action in the ring, with an ultra-high volume style, and despite being a high volume fighter he was also technically sound. Like Chang he picked great punches, and seemed to land clean time and time again. He could be hit, but landed so much more than he took due to his all action style. Oh and when he took one, he fired back, rarely showing signs of ever being hurt.
Mario Alberto Demarco was an Argentinian who is sadly all too forgotten now a days. He fought right through the 1980's and despite mostly fighting at home he really could have done so much more with his career. He had been crowned both the South American and Argentinian Light Flyweight champion and had been unbeaten since a 1983 loss to Adrian Daniel Roman, reeling off a 14 fight unbeaten run since then. Like Yuh it's fare to say that Demarco wasn't a puncher, but like Yuh he was real tough, let his shots go in clusters and could fight fire with fire. He wasn't as technically proficient as Yuh but was similar to the Korean in terms of style and mentality. He was going to out fight opponents, not out box them.
When you have two guys who have aggressive, volume based styles and the ability to take a shot you get something special. And we got something special here.
From the very early seconds we got action. Both men took a moment to figure out what the other had, before Demarco began to force Yuh backwards. Yuh wasn't as effective on the back foot as he was on the front foot, but the strength and physicality of Demarco was forcing him back early on. Yuh, realising he was in with a fellow aggressive bull began to try fighting fire with fire and round 2 was something special as the two men spent much of the round trading shots inside. Again it was Demarco who seemed to get the better of, but the round was much closer than the first, with Yuh avoiding a good number of Demarco's blows to get his own off. From here things began to develop into something very special.
Bout that start with the tempo this one did don't tend to go the distance, and don't tend to remain as hotly contested. This did. Round after round we saw thrilling exchanges, and even when action got sloppy it was little more than a mild respite between some great 2-way action. That action continued, round after round, to excite a rapturous crowd in what will go down as one of the greatest bouts ever to take place in Korea.
If you like intensity in your fights, amazing back and forth action, and real excitement then this is one for you to enjoy, with in what a truly breathless war of attrition, heart, energy and desire. An amazing fight and a great chance to see exactly why Yuh was such a big fan favourite in Korea in the 80's.
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