Every so often boxing has a real hidden gem, a gem so well hidden that you wouldn’t know about it unless someone told you about it and even then you’re likely to ignore it because you’ve never heard of the fighters involved, and will probably never hear of them afterward. One such contest was the March 26th bout in Korea between Sung Min Cha (2-0, 2) and Jung Woo Suh (0-1).
The bout, staged as part of the Korean Boxing Federation’s Rookie of the Year tournament, was a Featherweight contest at the quarter-final stage of the competition and one that will receive very little attention at the end of the year, but is well worth checking out online.
The fight started fast, like many from Korea, and lacked the typical feeling out stage of a first round. It wasn’t action packed or the most skilled, but it was clear that both men had gone into the ring to win and both were happy to throw leather. A lot of the big shots missed wildly but enough connected and there was enough sequences where both men landed to know that this wasn’t going to be a dull affair, even if it wasn’t going to set the world on fire.
In the second round the exchanges became more frequent, the action was that little bit tastier, and the two seemed to tighten up their work. Gone were the wild and crazy shots from out of range and instead we had up close action and some brilliant back and forth. It was clear that neither man was a schooled veteran of the ring, but that shouldn’t take away from the excitement they were giving us in an entertaining three minutes of fistic fury.
Although the first six minutes were fun, the bout took on a life of it’s own in round three, and it was perhaps one of the craziest rounds of 2017 so far.
Almost instantly the guys started to rain down heavy leather and although it was evident they were tiring neither was willing just to accept a loss.
The tiredness resulted in the defenses of both fighters being even more open and Suh tasting the canvas from a crazy series of monstrous headshots. He bounced up quickly, and Cha hunted the quick finish. In his haste Cha over-balanced and ended being pushed almost out of the ring. Then came the highlight as both traded and we saw a spectacular double knockdown.
The referee, who seemed as surprised as everyone else by the double knockdown, was left in a terrible position as the two fighters instantly got up and resumed trading wild punches as if they were in a street fight. Somehow the referee avoided being caught in the melee but did then wave off the bout, in what was a bizarre stoppage to give Cha the win.
The stoppage was confusing, and the round had just been crazy, but it was what I love about boxing – it was entertaining.
I know fight fans might prefer the clean action of two top fighters, but this was just pure unadulterated fun, and this is why I watch boxing, to be entertained and excited.
The low profile of the bout will keep it as a hidden gem, but the double knockdown alone means that it’s a gem worth seeing, and then seeing again!
Scott Graveson covers the Asian boxing scene for www.asianboxing.info