Earlier today we were informed that Hong Kong star Rex Tso (18-0, 11) [曹星如] would be returning to the ring on May 14th at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. As previously reported the Hong Kong star will be up against former world title challenger Young Gil Bae (27-5-1, 21) [배영길], a Korean who took part in a world title bout late last year.
Originally the plan for Tso was to challenge for a world title, against WBA Super Flyweight champion Kohei Kono (31-8-1, 13) [河野 公平], but those plans were put on the backburner in January when Tso's team, including Bob Arum, decided that Tso would build up towards a world title bout and that he wasn't yet ready for one of the best fighters in his division.
The plan for Tso was revised to try and get him in the ring against Bae in March but that has slipped to the middle of May with Tso spending time developing his skills away from the ring, which included training along with Filipino fighter Rey Megrino.
The exciting star of Hong Kong will be hoping to kick off his 2016 with a win over Bae however Bae will have ideas of his own.
The Korean is best known for facing WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin [วันเฮง ไก่ย่างห้าดาวยิม]. In that bout Bae was stopped in 9 rounds, though he has since bounced back with a low profile win in Thailand against Ricky Seniego. Interestingly Bae failed to make weight for his bout with Wanheng and although he'll be the smaller man against Tso he is more of a natural Super Flyweight than Minimumweight.
As well as the main bout others fights on the card have been announced. These include a bout between Filipino Jay Solmiano (17-3-1, 13) and Japan's Jumbo Oda Nobunaga Shoten Petagine (9-3, 7) [ジャンボ織田信長書店ペタジー二], AKA Takahiro Oda, as well as bouts featuring Macau's Kuok Kun Ng (8-0, 4), Kenneth Lee (1-0, 1) and Campee Phayom (9-0, 7).
Rex Tso's team plan his year, next fight in March
American promotional outfit "Top Rank" took their show on the road again this week as the returned to the wonderful Venetian Resort and Casino in Macau for "Victory at the Venetian".
With the live feed temporarily stopping we thought it would be the perfect time to catch fans up on what they've missed so far.
The opening bout of the live-stream on TopRank.tv saw China's lanky Light Heavyweight hopeful Qu Peng (8-1-1, 5) take a very debatable decision win over the game Michael Van Nimwegen (7-4, 4) in a bout that we had as a 57-57 draw, though could easily see a win for the visiting fighter. The contest was competitive throughout but Peng did seem to be very fortunate to get the decision, with all 3 judges scoring the bout 58-56.
The second bout to be streamed saw the fun to watch Kuok Kun Ng (8-0, 4) score an eye catching KO against Thai visitor Phompetch Twins Gym (6-4, 3). The Thai had come to fight but was out classed through the first 3 rounds before Ng found a home for his uppercut. One uppercut sent Phompetch down for the first knockdown of the fight whilst another finished him off later in the same round. Ng may not be a real star in the making but he's again shown progress and continues to impress us as fans.
The final bout streamed on the early portion of the under-card saw Hong Kong fighter Rex Tso (17-0, 10) score a stoppage win against limited Thai Khunkhiri Wor Wisaruth (21-12-1, 14). Tso always looked too good, too fast and too strong for Khunkhiri who was saved by the referee in round 4. This really was a ticking over bout for the Hong Kong "Wonder Boy" who still seems to be looking to get himself a world title shot in the near future
The "Showdown at Sands" main event may be several hours away but first part of the under-card, streamed live on Toprank.tv, is now over and it's given us some excitement already.
The showed kicked off with exciting Filipino prospect Aston Palicte (17-1, 15) who scored a 7th round TKO against the gutsy but out gunned Ismael Garnica (13-6-1, 5). The bout was a brilliant way to open the show with both men letting their hands go though it always seemed that Palicte hit too hard, land too often and was simply too strong for the plucky Mexican. The stoppage, came when referee Eddie Claudio decided Garnica had had enough and whilst it was a mercy stoppage few would complain about it with Garnica seemingly wilting in front of our eyes. For Palicte this was his debut on a major international broadcast and he impressed though still has work to do if he's to compete at a higher level.
The second bout on the show was a mismatch as the heavy handed Jose Felix Jr (29-1-1, 24) blew away Filipino foe Raymond Sermona (17-5-5, 8) in the opening round. The bout really never looked likely to be competitive though we did expect a little more from Sermona who seemed happy to take the count after being dropped. It was an
After a couple of 1-sided bouts we got a really good up-and-down contest between Macau's very own Kuok Kun Ng (7-0, 3) and Thai southpaw Chingchai Kiatpracha (7-3, 3). The bout started fast with Ng the aggressor and Chingchai the counter puncher. Unfortunately for Ng that saw him walking into a counter shot when he went all out on the offensive and was dropped for the first time in his career. Ng managed to have more success in the second round before dropping the Thai early in round 3. The Thai never really recovered and Ng managed to rock Chingchai soon afterwards as the two traded shots. With his man hurt Ng went on an all out offensive charge and dropped Chingchai a second time with the Thai staying down for the count.
The real stand out bout was the final of the Toprank streamed under-card contests and was a genuine contender for a FOTY nomination as the hugely popular Rex Tso (16-0, 9), fighting for the first time since signing a professional contract with Top Rank, went toe-to-toe with little known Filipino Michael Enriquez (10-3-1, 6). The bout was a mismatch according to the bookies, Tso entered as a 33/1 favourite but was dragged into an all out war that saw both men being hurt, both men taking bombs and both men digging deep. At the end Tso just did enough on the scorecards, courtesy of a knockdown in round 4, to take the decision but it was one that showed he's not ready to fight for a world title. Tso did claim the WBA International Super Flyweight title but needs to put time into the gym before trying to lure a world champion to Macau. The fight showed how gutsy and brave Enriquez was but also how lacking Tso is in terms of his boxing development as he spent far too long trading and fighting rather than boxing and in many ways it reminded us of his war with Mako Matsuyama. Whilst Tso is very fan friendly he's still defensively all over the place and that will be punished if he steps up before he sorts it out.
The 6th bout on "Ring of Champions" saw Macau's very own Kuok Kun Ng (5-0, 2) in action as he over-came on New Zealand visitor Beau O'Brien (4-1-1. 1). Going in to the bout both men were undefeated but of course, someone's 0 had to go.
The opening round saw a confident looking O'Brien attempting to land hayemakers from the off whilst Ng tried to make the most his technically superior boxing. With his solid technique it didn't take long for the "Macau Kid" to settling to his boxing and land stiff shots, including some very crisp jabs, heavy counter right hands and hard looking body shots.
Although the technically better boxer Ng was given a good work out in the opening round as O'Brien tried, several times, to take his head off. In the second round O'Brien continued with the same tactics though he began to be picked off more frequently by Ng who began to look like a very good prospect once the pace slowed slightly.
O'Brien's activity continues in round 3 though he was beginning to be walked down by Ng who actually wobbled him midway through the round. It was the best round of the fight with both landing some clean shots though it was a round that saw O'Brien's feet becoming flat and allowing Ng a lot more success as a result.
Round 4 was close though Ng seemed to steal it with a few hard and clean right hands against the tough O'Brien who lacked the power to catch the attention despite his good work rate. Despite having taken some solid shots it wasn't until round 5 that we first saw some claret as O'Brien's nose began bleeding, the result of Ng's clean head shots. Although there was blood it was little more than a small bit of damage and it didn't seem to effect the Kiwi who completed the 6th round though was a clear loser on the cards, despite putting up a good effort over-all.
The idea of Ng being a "work in progress" is clear though he is a fighter who has the tools to become a very talented fighter. He seems to understand what boxing is about as opposed to just fighting, he moves relatively well, generally throws technically correct and looks like a man who is improving every fight. There is clearly a lack of experience on his behalf and he does need a lot of work but we are looking forward to his development and fights like this will certainly help him develop as will physical maturity which, of course, cannot be rushed.
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