We love the idea that Asian boxing is growing and this Tuesday sees major action returning to South Korea for the first time in years as the country hosts two world title fights. One female and one male.
The headline bout here sees Koki Kameda (31-1, 17) defending his WBA Bantamweight title against Korean Jung-Oh Son (20-4-2, 6). Son will be the first Korean world title challenger since Ji-Hoon Kim challenger Miguel Vazquez for the IBF Lightweight title back in 2010. Like Kim back then, Son will be viewed as a major under-dog though will be seeking to be the first male Korean champion since In-Jin Chi almost 7 years ago.
Kameda's fight will be joined by a female world title bout between Anabel Ortiz (12-3, 2) and Hye-Soo Park (3-6-1, 1). This will be the first defense by Ortiz of the WBA Minimumweight title that she claimed when she defeated Etsuko Tada back in July. On paper this appears to be a total mismatch and we can't really see anyway in which Ortiz will lose her title.
As well as the two title fights we also believe there will be a third notable bout on the show as the hard hitting Akinori Watanabe (29-4, 25) fights Kyung-Suk Kwak (10-8, 7). Boxrec have this down as a PABA title fight though the PABA themselves don't have this down as one. As with the other two fights on the show, it's hard to imagine the Korean fighter scoring a victory 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.