We know we've picked some real hidden gems and forgotten treat of fistic fury in this series and today we talk about another of the more obscure fights. We say obscure, though it was a world title fight from 1992, and by world title fight we do mean a fight for one of "the big 4". So whilst it is obscure it is a significant fight, as well as a fantastic one, featuring a rather forgotten Korean world champion from the early 1990's taking on one of the many tragic figures from boxing's history.
Young Kyun Park (20-1-1, 11) vs Seiji Asakawa (19-2-1, 14)
Korean fighter Young Kyun Park is, sadly, not a name we suspect many will be too familiar with. Evn hardcore fans of the lower weights and the Korean scene may not really remember too much about Park, who was a solid and fun to watch Featherweight. He fought between 1986 and 1995 and won the Korean titles at Super Bantamweight and Featherweight before later winning OPBF and WBA titles, both at Featherweight. He won the WBA belt in 1991, when he beat Antonio Esparragoz, and is probably best known for his 3 fight series with Eloy Rojas, which was a brilliant trilogy of fights. In his third defense of the WBA Featherweight title Park took on Japanese title challenger Seiji Asakawa.
Asakawa is one of the many fighters who've life ended before it's time, though his death had nothing to do with boxing. Asakawa would sadly drown in 2001, at the age of 33, whilst fishing in Tsukuhara Lake. That was notably after his career ended, though still came tragically early. As a fighter Asakawa had, prior to facing Park, held the Japanese Featherweight title, twice, and had scored a noteworthy title defense against Koji Matsumoto. This was his first world title bout, and his first bout out of Japan. On the domestic scene he had proven to be a dangerous puncher, but he had been stopped in both of his losses and stepping up to world class was going to be a test of his durability.
Unlike most bouts this one didn't start slowly and build to something exciting. Instead, this one started hot, with the Inchon Indoor Gymnasium playing host to one amazing opening round. From the first bell the men just met each other and unloaded bombs. The local favourite was getting the better of it, but the challenger roared back giving us a totally breath taking opening round of unadulterated violence. The round may have only been 3 minutes long but it swung one way, then the other, then back and back again. This was an incredible round of action.
It would have been easy for the tempo to drop from the first round, but it didn't. Instead the two continued to wage war in round 2, with Asakawa eventually hitting the deck part way through the round. Park went for finish, but Asakawa saw out the storm, and made it to round 3. With the minute break he seemed to come out fresh as the action continued to be just as incredible, exciting and intense as it had been in the first two rounds.
This was a war right through to the end, and is a truly brutal bout. Fantastic action.
If you want to watch a real hidden gem, this is well worth your time...and unlike most bouts this doesn't actually have commentary, instead it's just the crowd noises. Whilst it's not always great we actually like the lack of commentary, especially given the action here really speaks for it's self.
Enjoy a true Closet Classic!
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