Earlier today in South Korean fans had the chance to see long reigning WBA Super Featherweight champion Hyun Mi Choi (19-0-1, 5) score her 9th defense of her title as she stopped Brazilian challenger Simone Aparecida da Silva (17-17, 6), in what was a bit of a pointless match up.
The talented Korean, who had been hoping to unify against Terri Harper this year, was levels above the challenger from the off. In fact they didn't look like they belonged in the ring together with Da Silva looking very much like a fighter who wasn't even close to world class. Whilst her record was a good sign of her limitations, it didn't tell the full story and she had lost her previous 3, with her last win came at Super Bantamweight almost 2 years ago.
Choi controlled behind her jab, controlling the range and tempo of the bout against a challenger was in trouble numerous times through the bout, and even seemed scared of Choi's power at times, a worry given Choi is a noted non-puncher.
In round 9 the challenger was down twice, with the second knockdown forcing the referee to wave off the contest, giving Choi her first stoppage since she beat Siriwan Thongmanit in 2015, a fighter she stopped in 3 rounds in a none title bout and had previously been stopped by Choi in 2014. For those curious da Silva becomes the first fighter, other than Siriwan, that Choi has stopped since she beat Kittika Sithan back in 2011!
Whilst it was good to see Choi in action, real questions need to be asked of the WBA who have again allowed Choi to defend her title against a fighter totally unfit to face her. Her impressive record in world title fights, 18-0-1 (4) looks great but in recent years she lacks a win of note in a division that has got plenty of talented fighters in it. The WBA needs to sort out who they are green lighting for title shots as this is becoming a joke.
Just moments ago we saw WBA female Super Featherweight champion Hyun Mi Choi (18-0-1, 4) [최현미] record her latest defense in a successful, and very entertaining, international debut as she defeated 32 year old Colombian challenger Calista Silgado (19-12-3, 14) in Florida as the chief support bout of a DAZN card.
Silgado started alright, and landed a nice jab very early on, but from there on Choi settled and won the rest of the round. Choi also looked good in the early part of round 2, hurting Silgado early in the round before the bell rang very early, in fact after about a minute of the round, cutting the already short 2-minute rounds even shorter, and potentially saved Silgado, who had looked hurt from a body shot earlier in the round.
From there Choi pressed the action, really fighting a lot more aggressive than she sometimes has in Korea. Instead of boxing and moving, as we have seen from her in the past, she was all out aggression here, trying to break down Silgado and take a TKO win. The aggression of Choi left her in harms way and she did take quite a few single shots, and counters from Silgado, but shook them off as if they were nothing through much of the bout.
Later in the bout Choi got a bit more sloppy defensively and she seemed to struggle at times in the later rounds, where Silgado caught her more frequently, but by then she was a long way ahead on the scorecards and just seeking a stoppage, to put the cherry on the top of her performance.
Sadly for Choi she was unable to finish off the Colombian, instead needing to take a clear 10 round decision on her US debut, with scores of 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93.
This wasn't best we've seen from Choi, but it was her most fan friendly bout. She ignored some of the tools in her arsenal and instead fought with the mentality of wanting to entertain and shine in her US debut, rather than fight safe. It made for an entertaining bout, but did see her take more shots than she really should have done. As for Silgado, credit it to her for surviving, and having moments, but we really should have seen Choi in with someone much, much better than Silgado, which would have given Choi a chance to show off her boxing skills, rather than trying to go out and score a stoppage, which isn't her typical style.
Earlier today in Korea fight fans saw Hyun Mi Choi (17-0-1, 4) [최현미] record her 7th defense of the WBA female Super Featherweight title, with a clear decision over Japanese challenger Wakako Fujiwara (8-3-2, 2) [藤原芽子] in Incheon.
The talented Choi was under pressure early on as Fujiwara looked to make a fast start and seemed to surprise the champion in the first couple of rounds. Sadly though it didn't take long for Choi to find her timing and her rhythm and from there on it was rather easy for the Korean.
Choi would establish her her range and begin to use her youth, speed and technical ability in round 3, and would essentially control the bout from there on, making Fujiwara look like a game but out classed challenger for much of the bout. Fujiwara, to her credit, always looked to make a fight of it, but was simply second best following her sprightly start.
With Fujiwara looking to fight hard there was always the potential for head clashes, and in round 9 the Japanese challenger was deducted a point for a head clash. The deduction didn't really make much of a difference to the out-come, with the judges scoring the bout in Choi's favour 98-91, 97-92 and 96-93.
For Fujiwara this was a good effort, but not good enough to over-come the unbeaten 2-weight world champion. For Choi the bout continues her run at world level, and hopefully she will get stiffer tests in the near future.
Earlier today in Korea fight fans had the chance to see WBA female Super -Featherweight Hyun Mi Choi (16-0-1, 4) [최현미] record her 6th defense, as she easily out-boxed Argentinian challenger Mayra Alejandra Gomez (18-8, 4).
Choi, who boasted a 7cm reach advantage, boxed on the outside and made the most of her sharp jab and accurate straight right hands. The shots from Choi began to take their toll on the challenger as early as the third round with Gomez's face beginning to bruise and swell.
What made things even easier tor Choi was the style of Gomez, which seemed to be based on creating space, the same space that Choi could use to make the most of her natural size advantages. Whilst Gome was struggling to land, and looking really uncomfortably Choi looked happy, smiling at times in the corner and looked incredibly relaxed.
As the bout went on Choi picked up her work rate whilst Gomez became more and more apprehensive, looking to avoided trading shots. It made for a really poor challenge from the Argentinian but Choi couldn't have asked for a more straightward win as she seemed to comfortably win every round.
After the bout a sporting Gomez paraded Choi to the crowd, knowing the local had been the better fighter, before randomly climbing the corner and celebrating, likely patting herself on the back for lasting the 10 round distance.
Choi, who won a WBA female Featherweight title on debut, won't enhance her reputation with this win, but will continue her reign and will likely be asking her team to get her a more serious test for next time out. For Gomez this is her third straight loss, and sees her fall to 0-3 in world title fights.
Earlier today fight fans in Korea saw WBA female Super Featherweight champion Hyun Mi Choi (15-0-1, 4) [최현미] record her 5th defense, as she narrowly over-came Mexican challenger Jessica "La Magnifica" Gonzalez (7-4-2-3, 1) with a technical majority decision, in what was a tough bout, marred by a huge fight ending head clash.
From the opening seconds it was clear that Gonzalez had travelled with the intent of taking the title home, and she immediatelytook the fight to Choi, forcing the Korean to cover up and retreat. It was an incredible work rate from he challenger that forced the champion into her shell and made it hard for Choi to to get her shots off. There were moments where the champion managed to land an eye caching counter, but for the most part it was Gonzalez who looked the early boss.
As the bout went on Gonzalez's attacks seemed to be getting read by Choi, who slowly began to have more and more moments and she seemed to get her range more as the rounds went on. Despite Choi getting more success she was never looking the boss, as Gonzalez refused to back off and continually press forward looking for an inside ward.
Mid way through round 6 the two fighters clashed heads in the center of the ring. The head clash drew an immediate scream from one fighter with Gonzalez's head instantly showing the effect of the headclash, a huge gaping wound on top of her left eye. The cut was an instant bleeder and after a prolonged inspection by the ringside doctor the bout was stopped.
Due to the cut coming from a clash of heads the bout went to the cards for a 6th round technical decision, and the cards were 59-56, 57-56 and 57-57, giving he champion a razor thin decision to retain her title, and continue to be the only Korean world champion.
(Image courtesy of Yonhapnews)
Earlier today Korean fans got an absolute treat as WBA female Super Festherweight champion Hyun Mi Choi (13-0-1, 4) [최현미] successfully retained her title with a hard foight 10 round decision win against Japanese challenger Kimika Miyoshi (13-10-1, 5) [三好 喜美佳], in what should go down as one of the best female bouts of 2017.
From the opening round it was a clear case of skill Vs will with Choi being the much more naturally talented fighter but Miyoshi being the much more aggressive and energetic. From the opening round to the final round Miyoshi was applying intense pressure, getting inside and letting her hands go. Unfortunately for the challenger her pressure did come at a cost with Choi regularly landing eye catching right hands, and some vicious uppercutts up close.
At times, particularly in the later rounds when both fighters were tired, both looked to be hurt, but in the end the two fighters saw out the 10 rounds.
Although Miyoshi was the one bringing the pressure through out she struggled to impress the judges, and it seemed like to them she was just making life difficult for the champion, with the score cards reading 100-90, 99-91 and 97-93. The cards were unfair, though they did all get the winner in what was a genuinely thrilling contest and one well worth watching.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today Korean fans had the chance to attend, or watch a stream of, a KBA show that was headlined by "refugee" boxer Hyun Mi Choi (12-0-1, 4) [최현미], who retained her WBA Female Super Featherweight title with a dominant display.
The North Korean born "Defector Girl Boxer" established her jab early to keep the determined but crude Diana Ayala (19-12-4, 13), at range. The Colombian challenger did her best to slip the jab, and the accurate follow up straights, but they often found their target.
Whilst Ayala lacked success in her defensive work it was her crude offense that was really letting her down at times, with her shots looking wild and wide, being easy for Choi to avoid, whilst resetting herself and establish the range she wanted. Ayala did however score some notable success in round 7, and again in round 9, though she seemingly didn't do enough in either of those rounds to convince the judges that she deserved them. Instead the judges scored the bout 100-90, twice, and 99-91, to the Korean.
Interestingly the bout was the first to be held at the Gwangmyeong Cave, a venue that seemed very atmospheric those we don't suspect will be the venue for too many world tile fights in coming years, sadly.
(Image courtesy of SPOtv News)
Although boxing, poverty and repression are often inter-linked we don't make a habit of talking about boxer's from North Korea. There is however one fighter who is, originally, from North Korea and is seriously worth talking about.
That is Hyun Mi Choi (10-0-1, 3) who successfully retained her WBA female Super Featherweight title earlier today with a dominating performance against Japanese veteran Chika Mizutani (14-5, 7).
Choi is one of the sports most amazing stories. As a young child she was spotted by the North Korean government who wanted to send her to the 2008 Olympics and gave her very special training. Soon after that training she, and her family, escaped from the North and went to South Korea where they began a new life and Choi quickly became one of the countries top amateurs.
Today Choi proved that she was one of the best professional fighters in female boxing as she thoroughly out boxed and out fought Mizutani in what proved to be a very one sided bout and high paced bout.
From the opening round Choi seemed too smart, too fast, too skilled and too accurate for Mizutani, who was often too brave for her own good. Time and time again the Japanese challenger walked into a stream of solid shots, including some beautiful uppercuts, and when Choi wanted to go forward she found it easy to march down the out-classed challenger.
Mizutani's did have her moments, such as through out round 2, though they were often over-shadowed by the work of the champion who scored a knock-down in round 2 and left Mizutani with a swollen face by the middle rounds.
By round 5 Mizutani was looking tired though gritted her teeth and had strong moments in round 8 as Choi herself began to look like the pace was getting to her. Sadly for Mizutani however was her last real success as Choi dominated the final couple of rounds and really tested the bravery and heart of the Japanese fighter who did well to see out the final bell.
When the cards were read there was no doubting who had won the bout, though for Choi this was just another chapter in her remarkable life and hopefully her great career continues as she acts as a figurehead for North Korean refugees in their nearest neighbour. For Mizutani however this will likely be the end, she can however take solace in the fact that she was beaten by a very, very good champion who who appears to be a fighter through and through.
Courtesy of http://www.koreaboxing.co.kr
It's not often we've been able to say this since we started "Asian Boxing" but right now I think we can safely safe that Korean boxing is on a temporary high.
The cause of Korean celebrations right now belongs solely to "Defector Girl Boxer" Hyun-Mi Choi (8-0-1, 2) who successfully claimed the WBA Female "interim" Super Featherweight title earlier today to become a 2-weight world champion.
The popular Korean fighter, who was born in Pyongyang before escaping to South Korea, faced Japanese veteran Fujin Raika (25-8-1, 10) a former 3-weight world champion. Although Choi was favoured going in to the bout it was seen as a potentially difficult bout with Raika being tough, experienced and a real battler. Despite this Choi actually made the bout look easy at times.
Using her height and reach advantage from the off Choi was able to land clean shots as Raika came in looking to get to where she could land. Through much of the bout this tactic worked well for Choi who appeared quicker, stronger and and more skilled as well as naturally larger.
Despite being out pointed Raika did her her successes throughout the bout she was, on the whole, unable to have enough of them in the earlier rounds to win them. She was making some competitive but never really doing enough to clearly claim any of them.
Although Raika started to look every bit of her 37 years late in the fight where she was obviously tiring she refused to just lie down and take defeat and really went for the big turn around in the final round, a round in which she caught Choi with some solid shots. Unfortunately for the Japanese fighter however Choi fired back her own shots and never looked in much trouble despite the surge of offensive success from Raika.
Having given up her WBA Featherweight title prior to this bout Choi will almost certainly be feeling that she made the right move to go to Super Featherweight rather than drain herself down as she had been in her past few fights.
Sadly at the end of the fight Raika looked somewhat like a broken fighter. Despite her great career she'll almost certainly be thinking about hanging them up. At her best she'd probably not have beaten Choi though right now she's a long way from her best.
On the same card Hye-Soo Park (3-6-1, 1) scored her first career stoppage taking out young Thai Airada Sithsonram (2-1) in the 5th round of a scheduled 10th as she claimed the female PABA Super Flyweight title and Dan-Bi Kim (8-2-1, 2), a former IBFA Minimumweight champion, out pointed the winless Thai Yokfah Sitkhrusin (0-4).