Although Japanese boxing fans seem to be able to have a break for a few days following the WBC title double header on Monday that doesn't mean Asian boxing has been put on a hiatus and today the attention turns to Icheon, South Korea.
Thanks to Bumjin Promotion we have an interesting 8 bout card on the island of Walmido not far from Icheon.
The headline bout sees “Defector Girl Boxer” Hyun-Mi Choi (7-0-1, 2) in action against Japanese veteran Fujin Raika (25-7-1, 10). Raika, a former multi-time champion has seen her career falter in recent years though will see this as her big chance to get back on the world stage and as a chance to get big fights. For Choi however this bout is just another in a life time of fighter.
Born in Pyongyang, Choi escaped from the North with her family in 2004 and has since become a Korean boxing star, claiming the WBA Featherweight title on her debut. Aged 22 Choi is now moving up to Super Featherweight after having made 7 defences of the Featherweight title and knows that a victory here will again help her further become a hero to other Korean refugees.
We've previewed this female title bout in the site's new female section.
The chief support bout is also a female bout as the diminutive Dan-Bi Kim (7-2-1, 2) takes on Thai visitor Yokfah Sitkhrusin (0-3). Kim has been inactive for 2 years though will be looking to make a successful return here against a very limited opponent.
Interestingly half of the bouts on the show are female bouts with Hee-Jung Yuh (7-1, 2) facing unbeaten Thai Airada Sithsonram (2-0) in one of the remaining two and female Korean Light Flyweight champion Eun-Hye Lee (3-0, 1) taking on debuting Thai Dorkmaipah Kiatpompetch (0-0). We tend to feel the Korean's will go 2-0 in these bouts.
In male action the key bout seems to be an interesting bout between Korean Myung-Koo Yuh (10-4-1, 5) and Filipino journeyman Lito Wayan (14-21-4, 3) who appears to be returning to the ring for the first time in more than 11 years.
The remaining 3 contests on the card are all-Korean affairs between novices with Won-Young Jung (2-4) battling Boo-Hyun Baek (3-3, 1) in the most noteworthy contest. The other 2 bouts see Ki-Hong Min (1-0) facing Joo-Young Lee (1-0) and the debuting Yong-Hwan Jo (0-0) fighting Jin-Wook Lee (1-1, 1). Admittedly it is difficult to be too excited about these though hopefully they will provide good undercard action for what is certainly “ladies day” in Korea.
Interestingly this is the first card from South Korea where we've managed to find something resembling a fight poster, which can be seen here.
Today we have two cards of note, one in Japan and one in South Korea with no less than 4 title bouts, including an amazing 3 world title bouts!
The best action, at least on paper appears to be the Japanese card as Kazuto Ioka (11-0, 7) defends his WBA Light Flyweight for title for the first time whilst taking on Thai veteran Wisanu Kokietgym (43-8-2, 13). This will be only be Ioka's second bout at 108lbs since winning his first world title 2 years ago, though the idea seems to be to match Ioka and WBA "super" champion Roman Gonzalez in the near future. A full preview of this title clash can be found here.
Ioka's stable mate Ryo Miyazaki (18-0-3, 10) also makes the first defense of his world title, the WBA Minimumweight belt, as he takes on the relatively unknown Mexican Carlos Velarde (23-2-1, 13). Miyazaki, who won the title by defeating the always fun to watch Kompayak Porpramook via split decision will be the favourite though plenty of questions do remain about the unbeaten Japanese youngster. Again we've got a full profile of this bout here.
As well as the two WBA title bouts on the Japanese card there will also be at least 3 other bouts. They include the hard hitting Masao Nakamura (14-1, 14) facing the thrice beaten Thai EakKhunphol Mor Krungthepthonburi (7-3, 4). This will be Nakamura's 3rd pro bout since being upset by unheralded Filipino Ronald Pontillas back in 2011. Unbeaten prospect Sho Ishida (12-0, 6) will also be looking for a victory as he battles Tawanrung Eausampan (5-1, 2) and the 22 year old Takahiro Yamamoto (8-3, 6) will be wanting to score his 3rd straight win as he goes up against Ngaotawan Sithsaithong (10-9-1, 5).
In South Korea the headline bouts see Hyun-Mi Choi (6-0-1, 2) defending her WBA Female Featherweight title against Shannon O'Connell (7-1, 4) and Nam-Joon Lee (7-4-2, 3) defending his South Korean Featherweight title against Bong-Joon Suk (5-1-1, 1). The female world title bout looks excellent on paper with the unbeaten champion facing a determined Australian whilst the national title bout looks even better. Don't be surprised if at least 1 title doesn't change hands.
The undercard in this Korean show is a bit weaker than the Japanese undercard but still there is some intrigue there. First you have promising female fighter Dan-Bi Kim (7-2-1, 2) facing off against Hye-Soo Park (2-6-1). The expectation is a win for kim though you need to go back 2 years to see Park's last loss. A bout between novice Jae-Woo Lee (3-1, 3) and Jong-Won Won (7-11-1, 3) is a step up for Lee, who genuinely could be unbeaten at this point in his career.
The opening of the card is a showcase for 8 novice as Je-Ni Ma (3-1-2, 3) fights Sang-Joon Park (3-2-1), Ji-Hoon Kim (0-0) (no not that one!) faces Moon-Sun Jung (0-1), Da-Won Suh (0-1) battles Se-Joon Song (0-0) and debutants collide with Tae-Il Kim and Hyun-Shik Kim both making their pro debuts against each other.