Hulk Boxing Gymnasium, Cheonan, South Korea
Action is back in Korea this coming Saturday for the most meaningful show in the country this year. The card will see the 4th Battle Royal kick off, with 13 Battle Royal bouts, along with a KBM Light Middleweight title bout, in what should be a major step forward for Korean boxing following their lockdown and the need to cancel several events earlier in the year.
The title bout will see the highly talented Sung Min Yuh (4-0) take on Soo Lee (3-4-2, 3) for the vacant title. Originally the plan was for Yuh to take on Do Ha Kim, in what would have been a re-run of their 2019 Battle Royal bout, but Kim is injured and Lee has gotten the call at relatively short notice. Of the two Yuh has been very impressive, and he looks like a natural talent, but a lazy talent. Lee on the other hand is less skilled, but has had got power and will likely feel like he's being over-looked here, as many see the bout as a foregone conclusion. The winner of this will likely take on Kim in the the future, if Kim does recover from his current injury.
The Battle Royal, which is essentially a Korean Rookie of the Year style tournament, will make up the bulk of the card with 13 bouts. From those 6 will be all debutant bouts. From the bouts that we do have the most interesting, at least on paper, will be a Lightweight clash between unbeaten youngster Eun Sung Park (4-0) and the more experienced Dong Hyun Won (3-2). The 19 year old Park debuted at the start of 2019 and although he'll be the favourite this is his first bout against someone with a win. Won on the other hand has faced stiffer competition and could well have too much for the youngster.
Another interesting looking match up between men with experience will the Hyun Mo Yang (2-2) take on the unbeaten Jung Hyun Shim (2-0-1, 1) in a Bantamweight clash. Although Yang has lost twice since debuting in May 2019 he has been active, whilst Shim hasn't fought since December 2017 and we suspect he will have some clear ring rust that needs to be shaken.
MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Top Rank are the first major US promoter putting on shows following the recent global situation and this coming Tuesday we'll see them put on the first bout, world wide, to feature a Filipino since lockdowns began. The bout in question will see the once beaten Mike Plania (23-1, 12) take on world ranked American Joshua Greer Jr (22-1-1, 12) in a really good looking match up.
Plania, who was essentially stranded in the US, has been fighting Stateside for a while and 4 of his last 5 bouts have been in the US. Although not well known internationally he is a talented fighter and asked real questions of Juan Carlos Payano back in 2018, dropping Payano before losing a competitive decision. Since that loss he has gone 8-0 (6) and 4-0 (2) in the US. Greer on the other hand is a highly touted American who has been creating a buzz for himself in recent years and has become well known for his gimmick of carrying a pillow into the ring with him. Although touted, and very highly ranked by the world title bodies, Greer has struggled in his last 2 bouts and was dropped by the last Filipino he faced, Giovanni Escaner.
This bout is at 120lbs and should make for a very, very interesting clash.
For a second day running we have a Chinese show to talk about, and it's another low level one with novices trading blows in 4 round bouts
Despite the bouts being full of novices it is interesting to see a clash between Huanran Li (4-0, 2) and Shichao Gao (5-0-1, 2), in a really good match up between unbeaten men. The 20 year old Li made his debut in 2018 and hasn't really scored any wins of note so far, but has taken his last two opponents out inside a round. As for Gao the 22 year old scored a notable win last year when he beat Nop Kratingdaenggym, albeit with a questionable decision. We like the look of this bout, a lot, and it's just a shame it's only a 4 rounder, this would have been a very interesting bout over 6 or 8 rounds.
The only other man with any professional experience on this show is Shaoyan Chen (1-0-1), who takes on the debuting Yuxiang Ying (0-0). Hard to say much about this one, but as with all bouts between novices, we at least expect something a bit competitive, and on paper, at least, it's not a total mismatch.
Boy has it been a long time since we've had some up coming fights to talk about, but this coming Saturday we will have action as Korea hosts two different shows, run by different authorities and a Chinese show! From the Korean shows one is a KBA show and one is a KBC show.
Hamsong-ro, South Korea
The KBA show, Korean Boxing Association, is set to be made available over Indian Sports, STN Sports and Youtube and will be promoted by Bumjin Promotion.
This show is set to have 4 bouts, originally there was 5 contests scheduled but one of the bouts was cancelled due to an injury.
From the 4 bouts still taking place two of them are all debut clashes and one of the other bouts will see Min Hyuk Jang (4-0, 4) take on the debut Lee Jun Han (0-0), in what looks like a mismatch on paper.
The other bout will see Kim Jung Min (0-3-2) take on Hee Sup Shin (0-0-2) in a bout at a contracted 151lbs.
*Note names and records taken from KBA's website.
Jungbong-ro, South Korea
The KBC show will have 6 bouts, despite it originally announce 7, and again they are really low quality match ups. The main event here will see the unbeaten Hyun Jin Kim (2-0-1, 2) taking on fellow unbeaten Man Suk Lee (2-0), in what appears to be the most attractive bout across the two shows. This bout is the only bout, from either show, to be scheduled for more than 4 rounds and should be a genuine good bout.
Although we're only mentioning one bout from this show it really does feel like this is the better show. It has an interesting main event and the other bouts are, for the most part, even matched, with fights who have a win or two to their name.
Whilst boxing is back in Korea we're not expecting anything too exciting during June and it very much feels like these sorts of shows are testing the water for later on in the year. Fingers crossed that those in charge of boxing in Korea take the chance to put on bigger bouts sooner rather than later.
We also have some Rookie action pencilled in for a Chinese show in Beijing. As with the Korean cards this is low level stuff, though does have two bouts worthy of some note.
One bout will see 22 year old Run Ang Du (1-2-1) take on the unbeaten Tumaerbieke Nuerbieke (4-0) in a 4 round bout at 154lbs. The other bout of interest will see Changyuan Yan (1-2) take on the much more experienced Wulamu Tulake (8-2-1, 4), at Middleweight. It's hard to imagine the less experienced man in either of these bouts picking up the W, but it does need to be said that Tulake hasn't fought in over 3 years!
Again this isn't a great quality show, but is the first Chinese card since January, and it's great to see boxing back in China after such a long break. We all know why China stopped it's boxing scene, and we're not going to speak about that, and instead just feel happy we get some boxing in the country after such a long, long break.
**Please note all cards subject to change