South Korean slugger Ji-Hoon Kim may not throw the gigantic right hand that he used to, but subtle improvements defensively and a more workrate-based offensive attack got him the win tonight over Ali Rahimov, handing the former amateur standout from Uzbekistan his first loss as a pro.
As you can see above, Kim (24-7-1, 18 KO) threw an absurd amount of punches over the 10 rounds, leading him to winning scores of 96-94, 97-93, and 98-92. Rahimov (23-1, 12 KO) was effective in the fight, but just could not always handle the crazy activity of the fearless and improved Kim, who deserved the W and got it.
Kim, 25, would seem an unlikely candidate for long-term contention, but who knows? His record isn't pretty, but he's always fun to watch, and given his limitations, there's a good chance he'll get a couple more title shots along the way. If he gets the right one, there's no great reason he can't become "world champion."
For Rahimov, 34, this is a big setback. He really needed the win here, and given his age and his own limitations (he's not a puncher and he's pretty small for the weight), it's far more likely that it will be the technically sound Rahimov who fades out than the wild, risk-taking Kim.
It should also be noted that it was a hell of a good fight, and that both would be welcome back on my TV any time. I'd personally love to see Kim rematch Lenny Zappa, who stopped Kim in one round in 2010, only to lose his next two. Zappavigna is now on a rebuilding mission, but maybe later this year that fight could find a home on Friday Night Fights. If not, Kim could fight just about anyone, and it will be worth tuning in.
In the televised co-feature, which I beg you not to watch if you have not already, novice heavyweight Vince Thompson (11-0, 2 KO) outpointed Joell Godfrey (14-7-1, 6 KO) in a dreadful non-event on scores of 80-72, 80-72, and 78-74. Keep in mind that Godfrey was meant to face Guillermo Jones in "stay busy" fight on June 23. That should give you an idea of the sort of opponents Jones would prefer to face, since Godfrey wasn't even close to beating a pretty bad fighter tonight. I mean no personal offense to Vince Thompson when I say that, but let's put it this way: You don't need to add him to your list of heavyweights to watch.