Regular readers of the Treasure Trove series of articles will be well aware by now that we absolutely love Korean boxing. The skill level, particularly in recent years, is lower than in many Asian countries, but that the heart, determination and action make up for the lower technical ability. This weekly series has always put action and excitement ahead of skills, and with that in mind we have a real gem to share today!
Sung Jae Jo (7-0, 6) vs Gyung Mo Yuh (3-5-3)
In one corner was the unbeaten 23 year old Sung Jae Jo. Up to this point Jo had had everything his own way, with 6 stoppages from his 7 wins, and he had stopped his previous 5 in a row, including a win over Jong Min Bang for the Korean title in September 2018. He had never looked all that well polished, but in reality he didn't need to be, he was easily dealing with opponents with just his heavy handed blows and his trudging aggression. He certainly had areas he had to work on to go further in the sport but in reality on the Korean scene he was looking pretty solid. The Korean scene might be his limit, but he was certainly going to be a fun guy to watch.
Gyung Mo Yuh was in the other corner. He was a 31 year old fighter who had lost his first 4 bouts and won just 1 of his first 9, going 1-5-3 during that stretch. He had managed to notch back to back wins on route to this fight but they had come at Welterweight, where he had won a Korean title. Despite his "recent success", he had no right to be getting a Korean Middleweight title fight and was easy to over-look as being a legitimate challenger for Jo. Sometimes however it's those who are being over-looked who put in the best performances, and whilst Jo may have been expecting an easy fight he wasn't going to get that. Yuh was going to play his part in what turned out to be a great little war.
The two men clashed in January 2019 and despite the bout looking like a mismatch we ended up a very fun and enjoyable war.
From the opening round the champion was coming forward, looking to let his shots go on the inside whilst the challenger was showing the much more rounded skills, boxing and moving, and looking to control the distance. Despite the mentalities of the men being polar opposites the bout fight would quickly descend into Jo's type of fight, with bombs being thrown toe to toe.
Round after round was intense and both men had to take as good as they got. Although not a puncher Yuh was landing some really clean head shots as he tried to slow down the champion.
Despite the bout getting messy at times, especially when the two men began to tire, the intensity and excitement never dropped and both fought as if they had to give everything they had.
For those who love absolute wars, with heavy head shots, and don't mind defensive workd being ignored as a result this is brilliant. It's crude combatitve carnage and so much damn fun!
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.