Ji Hoon Kim will be back in the ring this Saturday when he fights Miguel Vazquez for the IBF lightweight title on FSN.
Kim sports a record of 21-5 with 18 knockouts, but don’t let that deceive you. This guy can fight. All five of his losses came in his first 13 fights. He is currently on a 13-fight winning streak that includes 12 wins by knockout.
Most of those fighters are Asian fighters that just weren’t very good. Mixed in with these average fighters are former Olympian Koba Gogoladze, Zolani Marali, Tyrone Harris, and Ameth Diaz.
None of them are world class, but they are all good scalps to have on your resume. The fact that he knocked them all out it is even more impressive.
If you talk about pure boxing ability, Kim wouldn’t be in my lightweight top 10 and probably would sit well outside of the top 15.
Kim is awkward and does things that no fighter should, but he hits hard. His money punch is his right hand and he lands it with big-time power.
When you couple that power with the fact he never stops coming forward, you have the making of a good fighter. His defense mainly consists of him throwing shots at you nonstop.
He has showed a very good chin and hasn’t been knocked out since 2005. His power, aggressive style, and chin make him a formidable fighter for anyone at lightweight.
He is so unpredictable that the guy across from him really can't find a sparring partner to mimic him. As a quick side note—having a awkward style is a very underrated attribute.
If only for the reason that another fighter cant mimic you in sparring. At any rate this fight should be a very good action fight.
Vazquez is in the same shoes as Kim, as he sports a 25-3 record with 12 knockouts. He lost his pro debut to someone named Saul Alvarez who was 2-0 at the time.
He then lost to Timothy Bradley (20-0) and Alvarez once more (19-0-1). He has recently moved down to lightweight, having fought only three fights at the weight.
Since moving down. he has looked like a new fighter. He only has one really quality win and it is over Breidis Prescott at lightweight.
Looking back, you can question what that win means and you can question if Vazquez belongs in a title fight.
If he was to fight anyone for a title, Kim may be on the top of his list. Vazquez is much better technically and could easily outbox Kim for 12 rounds.
With that being said, Vazquez will have to be wary of Kim’s right hand all night. He will also have to be ready for whatever Kim throws at him from a style standpoint.
I think Kim’s pressure and Vazquez’s lack of big fight wins will lead to a Kim victory. I think he will just be too much for Vazquez to handle.
I’ll confess that I love Kim and hopefully he can make Vazquez knockout victim 19 and win a title he deserves.