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.
Pyeongtaek, South Korea
The first show of a new year takes place in Korea of all places, and in terms of importance it's a pretty significant one, with a trio of KBM title eliminators on it, along with an interesting looking international bout. Outside of Korea the show won't get much attention, but in Korea it's a card very much, worthy of note.
The main event will see local hopeful Nam Jun Lee (10-6-3, 4) take on Filipino fighter Juanito Paredes (8-6-1, 3). The 35 year old Korean is no world beater, but against the right opponent he can make for good fights, and his record does have good wins over Sa Myung Noh and Jelbirt Gomera. The 27 year old Paredes has won 5 of his last 6, but returns to Korea following a loss there in November to Gyung Mo Yuh.
In a KBM title eliminator at 154lbs we'll see Yoo Seung Jun (6-1) battle against Seung Hee Lee (4-6, 1). The form book strongly backs Jun, but the 27 year old was beaten last time out, by Sung Min Yuh, and we're interested to see how he bounces back. Lee did win last time out, but is 2-4 in his last 6, and it's hard to imagine scoring back to back wins here.
Talented 18 year old hopeful Sung Min Yuh (3-0) had to battle hard for his 3 wins in 2019 but actually appears to be in an easier fight here than he was last time out. Yuh faces off with Se Yul Yang (3-4-2, 1) in what is another KBM Light Middleweight eliminator. Interesting Yuh gave the previously mentioned Yoo Seung Jun his only defeat, and wins for both on this show would likely set up a rematch for late Spring.
Another youngster in an eliminator is the touted Da Won Gang (3-0, 1), who takes on Jin Soo Kim (6-7-1, 3) at 140lbs. This bout hard been arranged for prior to the new year, but was delayed, and added to this card, where it really fits well as a third title eliminator.