A new is upon us and title fights are back on January 10th when we get the first world title bout of the year. The bout in question sees Korean world champion Eun Hye Lee (8-0, 3) defending her WBO Female Light Flyweight title for the first time and battling against Touted Australian destroyer Louisa Hawton (6-0, 3). For Lee the bout will be her first since last September's title win over Ploynapa Sakrungrueng whilst Hawton, who had previously chased Momo Koseki, will be in her first world title bout and see her return to the ring for the first time since last August.
The 33 year old Korean has come through the local scene claiming a national title in her third professional bout, back in 2012, and a regional title two years later before finally taking a world title last year. Whilst she has progressed the typical way she does lack wins of real quality with Ploynapa being her best win so far, not an outstanding win. In total she has beaten just two fighters with winning records and has failed to show her ability is genuinely top tier. Despite that she has rarely lost more than a couple of rounds in a fight and appears to fight to her strengths.
Australian fighter Hawton debuted less than 2 years ago and has raced up her record. Through 2015 she faced 3 fighters with winning records, including former world title challenger Angor Onesongchaigym and Jujeath Nagaowa, with Nagaowa being the only fighter to last more than 4 rounds with Hawton. In the ring Hawton is a confident, fast and powerful fighter. There are some technical chinks in her defense but watching her attack is worrying given her ability and explosiveness. Getting into a fight with her isn't a smart idea, but from watching her she does seem able to force her style on to fights. Of course there is a question regarding her stamina though it's fair to say that she's never had to prove it given her style and dominance so far.
Coming into this one it's fair to say both fighters are facing their stiffest opponent so far. Neither fighter is amazingly proven and although both are unbeaten neither has faced anyone of real quality. Saying that however we have been more impressed by what we've seen of Hawton and suspect her explosive aggression will be the difference between the two here.
Here we preview the key female title bouts involving an Asian fighter.