The Treasure Trove has had some great fights shared in it, and we dig back into it today for another, less well known, fight from 2019 that's well worthy of a watch. This time we go to Hong Kong of all places in a bout that was thrilling and also rather sad, as it essentially put boxing in Hong Kong on the back burner, at least for the short term
Raymond Poon KaiChing (7-1, 4) vs Xiang Li (6-2-1, 2)
In one corner was Raymong Poon, the rising star of boxing of Hong Kong, the man to fill the void left by Rex Tso. He was exciting, young, fresh faced and talented. Although Poon didn't exude the natural charisma of Tso or the skills of the "Wonder Boy" he was another good looking kid with potential, power, high out put and the tools to make a mark on the sport. Aged 24 at this point he was riding a 5 fight winning running, after starting 2-1, and had scored a decent win in summer 2018 over Ryo Narizuka.
In the opposite corner was Chinese 20 year old Xiang Li, a genuinely unheralded fighter who didn't have much of a name at all at this point. Li had made his debut in April 2017 and had struggled to make a mark of any kind, and had lost his only other outside of the Chinese mainland. On paper he had little to threaten Poon. He lacked power, he lacked momentum and he was fighting in Poon's home of Hong Kong. On paper he was expected to just put up an exciting performance but clearly lose to the local.
What no one did, was tell Li he was there to lose.
From the opening round it was clear Li was much better than his record suggested. It turned out he could could box, he knew what he was doing and was able to match Poon for output. This immediately made the action a lot more exciting than anyone thought it had any right to be. Poon seemed the heavier handed, and the more aggressive, but Li showed he could hold his own, with smart counters, making Poon pay for his misses.
Poon's pressure, especially early on, made the fight fun to watch, and several times he went low taking the wind out of Li's sails. It was Poon's pressure making the fight, but it was Li's counters that were adding to the excitement. Li wasn't running away, but was counting in combinations, with eye catching exchanges and thrilling back and forth action.
For those who haven't seen this it's a fun little hidden from last May. Don't get us wrong, it's not an incredibly high level fight, but it's a real fun one all the same between two energetic young men each willing to let their hands go in an attempt to impress the judges.
Genuinely a fun low level fight, where the man who was supposed to lose really does surprise us all and does more than just plays his part in a great little bout.
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.