When it comes to the best stories in boxing we can't help but love the story of Hyun Mi Choi (9-0-1, 3) a young female fighter who was born in Pyongyang before defecting, with her family, and setting up life in Seoul. Not only has Choi set up life in the South Korean capital but she has really made a success of herself, and is a 2-weight world champion. Bizarrely she claimed her first title on debut, winning the WBA female Featherweight title in her first professional bout, and has since become the WBA female Super Featherweight champion.
On May 23rd she'll be defending that Super Featherweight title as she takes on a veteran of the Japanese sense, Chika Mizutani (14-4, 7), who looks to become a world champion at the third time of asking. For Mizutani it's almost certainly "last chance saloon" though it's also a way to show that she can still compete after having been out of the ring for almost 2 years.
For those who haven't seen Choi she's a scrappy fighter when she needs to be, showing traits of her family's struggle to readjust to life in South Korea, how ever at her best she's an educated boxer who enjoy's using her size and youth. At range she's really talented and shows off the hard schooled teachings she had of North Korean boxing, something she had ahead of the 2008 Olympics, whilst also showing the traits that she's developed from having been a professional for more than 6 years, albeit and inactive professional.
Mizutani on the other hand is a warrior first and foremost. At 33 she's seen better days but she's a heavy handed puncher who has mixed in fantastic company, losing bouts to the likes of Erica Anabella Farias and Fujin Raika. Notably she has also lost twice in Korea, losing decisions to both Ji Hye Woo and Hyo Min Kim.
In her prime Mizutani would have been a real handful for Choi. Now however we can only see one winner, Choi, who is younger, fresher and much more "lively" given a 9 year age advantage. We do however hope that this bout can kick start the winner's career, with neither having been particularly active in recent times, in fact neither has fought in more than a year.
(Image courtesy of Hyun Mi Choi's facebook)
Here we preview the key female title bouts involving an Asian fighter.