World Boxing Association bantamweight champion Hong Soo-Hwea of South Korea succeeded in his first title defence in Seoul on Saturday (28 December).
World Boxing Association bantamweight champion Hong Soo-Hwea of South Korea succeeded in his first title defence in Seoul on Saturday (28 December). Five thousand fans in the Wangchung Gymnasium saw the champion awarded a split-decision over the challenger, Fernando Cabanela of the Philippines.
The fight began badly for Hong, who was visibly shaken by a series of sharp left jabs from the challenger. With the 15-round fight hardly under way, Hong was suffering from a puffy left eye and a bleeding nose.
Cabenela was unable to break through Hong's defence for long enough, except in the ninth round, when he landed two full-blown rights to the face. Cabenela's attack was erratic and several times he was driven to the rope by Hong's two-boy attacks.
The crowd appeared disappointed with the performance of the local champion, who did not show the same form as he did when he won the title last July against South Africa's Arnold Taylor.
The Japanese referee gave the fight to Hong, but the Korean and Filipino judges were split on partisan lines. Hong now has 28 wins, two draws and two defeats to his credit ... Cabanela has 48 wins, seven losses and four draws.