One of the very best things about covering boxing in Asia is the huge scope of fights we get to see, and how we see bouts that very, very few fans will get the chance to see. That is what essentially what out "Treasure Trove" articles are all about, a chance to show off something that we've enjoyed that we feel many fans have missed out on in 2019. Today we get to delve deep in to the treasure trove and bring you a real hidden gem. A gem that few would have seen, that got little fanfare at the time, but was well worth 20 or so minutes of any fight fans time.
Hyeon Joon Lee (6-3-1, 4) vs Sheng Peng (4-6, 2)
This really didn't get much attention at all, coming on an obscure Korean card put on by the KPBF in Gyeongju, Korea. Despite the lack of attention the bout it's self was none stop action from the first round to the last.
In one corner here was Korean fighter Hyeon Joon Lee, a 20 year old who had fought for the Korean Super Flyweight title in April, coming up short to Min Jang. His record didn't show much of note, with 10 bouts to his name and a 3-3-1 record in his 7 fights leading into this, following a 3-0 start to his professional career. He debuted all the way back in 2016 and really had no momentum at all in his career coming into this bout.
In the other corner was diminutive Chinese battler Sheng Peng, a 30 year old who had lost 4 of his 5 bouts coming into this and had never scored a win of any note. Although he had been picking up losses he had been facing some good competition, with losses to the likes of Wulan Tuolehazi and Yuto Takahashi. Going back to the start of his career, in 2011, he had also for Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep. He was well travelled, but very limited.
Straight from the opening moments Peng came forward, applying pressure, backing up the Korean youngster and fighting with the gameplan of wearing down Lee. This was the perfect idea over 6 rounds against the taller, younger man who wanted space to work with. The lack of size allowed Peng to make himself a tricky target, avoiding shots to cramp the distance and work away on the inside. This forced Lee to fight back in kind, trading shots up close.
What we ended up getting from this bout was just a real, fun, back and forth tear up. A bout that, had it been held in the UK, would have been described as a small hall classic. It lacked polish, it and finesse but it delivered in action, excitement, violence, and heart. This 6 rounder was all entertainment, and the true definition of a hidden gem, one of the many hidden gems from our 2019 Treasure Trove!
Takahiro Onaga is a regular contributor to Asian Boxing and will now be a featured writer in his own column where his takes his shot at various things in the boxing world.