The volcano is ready to explode! This weekend sees the return of one of my favorite fighters on the planet. Ji Hoon Kim.
Ji Hoon Kim looks to bounce back from his title loss against fellow slugger Lenny Zappa. The fight will be an IBF title eliminator with the winner getting a shot at Miguel Vazquez if he still holds the title.
Kim is coming off a loss to talented boxer Vazquez in a fight that was for the vacant IBF lightweight title.
This is the first meaningful fight since Zappa (24-0, 16 KO) made his U.S. debut by beating Fernando Angulo in less than impressive fashion. His last time out he knocked out Billy Sumba.
The loss for Kim (21-6, 18 KO) was his first in four years and was a setback in his chase for the title. Kim was on a good run knocking out Zolani Marali, Tyrone Harris and Ameth Diaz before the loss.
You may see the six losses and write this off Kim as an unworthy fighter getting a shot to fight for a title again, and in some cases that is true, but it couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to Kim.
He lost five of his first 13 fights because he was very young and very inexperienced. When he stepped up in competition, he started winning and winning in impressive fashion.
He knocked out former Olympian Koba Gogoladze in 2008 and never looked backed as he kept knocking out opponents and finally found himself with a title shot.
Kim became somewhat of an American TV staple in the last year being featured on ESPN2 twice, while also fighting for the title on a Fox Sports Net card. With his exciting style it is clear why he was featured.
Kim is a slugger with little regard to defense and he met his match against the slick punching Vazquez. He won’t be facing a slick boxer in Zappa, as he comes to you and looks to mix it up.
Zappa also has almost no defense and is looking for the knockout when he gets into the ring. Zappa appears to be a limited fighter like Kim but hasn’t fought competition as good as Kim has fought.
In his only step up, Zappa appeared to be confused against Angulo and in my humble opinion lost that fight. Kim will by far be the best fighter he has fought and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
Kim is a freakishly strong lightweight and isn’t going to wilt under the punches thrown by Zappa. His strong chin is going to enable him to walk through the punches and land his own.
I don’t know how good of a chin Zappa has, but Kim is a very strong puncher, and with his lack of defense he is going to get hit often.
If Zappa has a great chin he may pull out the win, but I don’t see it happening. Kim is too hungry to get another crack at the title and boy, can he punch.
Kim is going to know Zappa in the later rounds, after he tires him out and hits him with a lot of shots. When King J and I are your biggest fans you must be doing something right.
Get ready for a volcanic explosion. The fight will not be on American TV so if you can find a stream online as this looks like a "fight of the year" candidate.
The card will air at 9:30 p.m. this Saturday.
This was originally written for and published on www.kissingthecanvas.com.