One thing we're really excited about for 2020 is Korea. The country over delivered, massively, in 2019 and if it does the same again this year it's going to be hard to not be raving about it by the end of the year. With the country able to provide great action, interesting low key match ups and some solid tournaments it's the place where we turn for this weeks "One to Watch".
The One to Watch?
Han Bin Suh (5-0-3, 4) Vs Shin Dong Myung (2-0)
January 18th (Saturday)
We genuinely love watching Korean fighters and here we have two Koreans with very different styles. In one corner is a technically well schooled fighter whilst the other fighter involved is a guy who fights with the intensity set to 11. Stylistically we're interested but it also puts two unbeaten men and it's a great fight for a Korean title!
Although not a star, by any stretch of the imagination, 19 year old Korean Han Bin Suh is the KBM Super Bantamweight champion and one of the most legitimately fun to watch fighters on the planet. The teenager is technically rudimentary but is everything we love about Korean boxing. He sets an incredibly high pace and throws so much leather that every fight of his is a fight worth watching. Although limited he swarms people to the point where they need to match him and few can do that, especially over 10 rounds, as Suh has shown he can do. He doesn't slow down, and worryingly for his opponents they do. Suh doesn't hit particularly hard, but hits that often, and takes a shot so well, that every single one of his bouts end up being amazing to watch and gruelling wars.
Shin Dong Myung is a former amateur standout who made his professional debut in September 2018 though failed to really build on impressive debut win over Hiroyuki Sagehashi by only fighting once in 2019. Prior to turning professional he had been a very successful Korean amateur with a reported 175-25 (50) record, including multiple national championships. Despite not being busy as a professional his talented has been obvious from his two professional bouts. He looks super relaxed in the ring, controls distance well and is one of the very few Korean fighters who could be described as being very technical. He's not very busy, but he is very accurate, very efficient and very clean punching. He is, however, also a bit of a slow starter, and we wonder whether he has the gas tank to go 10 rounds.
What to expect?
We expect to see Suh set a Suh like pace from the opening round, and force Myung to fight his fight. If you stand off Myung he will outbox most fighters at this level, he's simply too good. But against a little terrier like Suh, who marches forward, throws a lot and dictates the tempo so well, we think Myung will be the man forced to change his style. Early on Myung may be able to fight his fight, though given he's already looked like a slow starter we wouldn't back that idea too strongly, but as the rounds pass Suh will get more and more success and make this into a thriller. This will end up being an incredible fight by the end.
The bad news?
The live stream for the bout is on SPOTV, which isn't easy to get access to. Thankfully however BoxingM and SPOTV do tend to make things widely available on youtube in the weeks following tjhe contest. So keep your eyes out for this one!
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.