From what we understand Hong Kong's boxing star Rex Tso (13-0, 8) is now a major doubt for the next Macau show which is set to take place on July 19th. Tso may have suffered 2 knock downs in his recent victory over Thailand's Ratchasak Kokietgym but rather worryingly it's his hands that could be an issue.
From the reports we've come across Tso's hands are still badly swollen following the bout with Ratchasak and although no fractures have yet been detected their are serious worries about soft tissue damage which could keep him out of the ring for a while.
Not only are Tso's hands swollen but they are still tender and an expert will need to give them the all clear before Tso even considers sparring again never mind an actual fight. This could well keep him out of the ring for months, not just a few weeks. Worryingly this could put the stoppers not just on the potential "Champions of Gold" show but also a possible show down with Kohei Kono for the WBA Super Flyweight world title.
Although Tso's hands are damaged his team were said to have been happy with his performance against Ratchasak. They were very happy about his foot work which was a huge improvement to the way he fought Mako Matsuyama, incidentally a Watanabe gym mate of Kono's, though they are worried about long terms issues not just regarding Tso's hands but also his nose which they feel may require laser surgery down the line due to bleeding issues.
The Macau show, which will see Thai veteran Sod Kokietgym (63-2-1, 28) challenge talented Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux (13-0, 8) for the WBA and WBO Super Bantamweight titles, is still not not closer to be fully announced. We know the world title bout and we also know that the card will feature Zou Shiming (4-0, 1), Brian Viloria (33-4-0-2, 19), Egor Mekhontsev (3-0, 3), IK Yang (15-0-0-1, 10), Kuok Kun Ng (4-0, 2) and Mexico's promising Gilberto Ramirez Sanchez (28-0, 22) though none of these fighters have yet to have opponents announced for the show. With Tso now a major doubt it seems time that Top Rank started to put together the opponents for the other men on the show, especially considering it's only about 6 weeks away!
(Image courtesy of boxrec.com)
We have been reliably informed that the November 22nd Macau card featuring the next bout of Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38) will not feature Pacquiao's compatriot Nonito Donaire (33-2, 21), despite speculation to the contrary this past weekend.
Donaire, who defeated Simpiwe Vetyeka (26-3, 16) via technical decision this past weekend for the WBA Featherweight "Super" title, had been mentioned for the co-feature of the Pacquiao headlined card though that idea was shot down by Pacquiao's advisor Michael Koncz. Although Bob Arum seemed to want the two Filipino stars on the same show Koncz has pointed out that Donaire wouldn't actually add much to the card considering his cost and that of an opponent. Effectively stating that the fan base of both are the same people and basically suggesting both men can fill the arena on separate cards.
It seems that whilst we know Donaire won't be on the card we don't really know what bouts will be on it. We have had Pacquiao confirmed for the show and he will be defending his WBO Welterweight title, though his opponent is yet to be named with a lot of possible fighters being mentioned. One of those fighters, Juan Carlos Abregu (36-1, 29), has been "downgraded" as opponent according to one source who suggested that we should consider Abregu out of the running.
Although no other fights have been announced there is a lot of speculation hinting at a contest between Zou Shiming (4-0, 1) and Alberto Rossel (32-8-0-1, 13) for the WBA Flyweight title as the chief support bout. Shiming does have a fight in the interim, on July 19th, but if he wins then this bout is apparently all but a formality from what we've been told.
Other fighters expected on the card will be Rex Tso (13-0, 8) and Kuok Kun Ng (4-0, 2) though both have interim contests on July 19th, just like Shiming and, like Shiming, will likely need to win them to be featured on this show.
(Image courtesy of Top Rank)
When an opponent changes, twice, for a fight a fighter can sometime struggle with an opponent they should have been able to beat with out too many problems. That was shown earlier today when Hong Kong's popular Rex Tso (13-0, 8) fought Thailand's game Ratchasak Kokietgym (22-3-1, 10) and was given arguably his second toughest bout so far.
Tso started by looking very good and for two rounds it did look like Tso was going to have his own way with the Thai who was brought into the fight with around a weeks notice. Unfortunately for Tso the Thai fighter wasn't just here to make up the numbers and in round 3 Ratchasak managed to twice drop Tso who looked like he was unable to take the power of the Thai.
Ratchasak continued to have success in round 4, the most competitive round of the fight, though soon afterwards Tso rediscovered his rhythm and began to use his fast feet, fast hands and sharper punches which helped him put the 10-7 round behind him and re-establish control of the bout.
Although often in control of the action Tso was dragged into some really exciting exchanges, especially in round 10 as both let there hands go to start the final round, By then though it seemed Ratchasak was too tired to really unload on Tso like he did in round 3.
Having reached the final bell there was only one winner and with scores of 97-91, 97-91, 96-92 Tso maintained his unbeaten record though was given a scare.
For those wondering about Tso's toughest bout that was his controversial victory over Ratchasak's compatriot Rusalee Samor, a bout we felt Tso was very lucky to win.
Tso's victory on the card followed opening round blow out victories for IK Yang (15-0-0-1, 10) and Kuok Kun Ng (4-0, 2) earlier on the same card.
Earlier today saw the weigh in done for the big Macau show dubbed "Featherweight Fury". The card, which features 8 bouts in total, saw all the fighters making their set targets.
The undercard saw Macau's own local star Kuok Kun Ng weighing in at 152lbs almost a division heavier than his Indonesian opponent Muhammad Imam who was bang on the Welterweight limit of 147lbs. Despite the difference between the two men it was contracted at Light Middleweight and Imam has willingly come in light.
Another undercard bout saw Olympic Silver medal winner, and former Ryota Murata foe, Esquiva Falcao weighed in marginally over the Middleweight limit at 161.5lbs whilst his South Korean opponent Eun-Chang Lee weight in slightly heavier at 162lbs. This is one of the lightest weights of Lee's career, after all he is a Korean national champion at Super Middleweight, though it's still hard to imagine him really giving Falcao a tough bout here.
The third bout on the card will be the IBF Super Bantamweight Eliminator. This bout saw Yasutaka Ishimoto weighing in at 121.75lbs, slightly heavier than American slugger Chris Avalos who was 121.5lbs. For Ishimoto this will be his second bout contest in Macau, having previously beaten Wilfredo Vazquez Jr there, and a win again here will put him amongst the top contenders at Super Bantamweight.
The final of the undercard contests was contracted as a Light Welterweight bout and saw both men making the weight comfortable with the unbeaten Ik Yang weighing 137½lbs whilst Geisler AP was 138½lbs.
The first title bout on the show, a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title, saw Ratchasak Kokietgym weighing in on the divisional limit of 115lbs. Oddly champion Rex Tso weighed in at 116.5lb though some how it seems the WBO has agreed to bend the limit for 117lbs for the bout and to keep their title on the line. Very odd situation here.
Despite the situation regarding Tso's title bout everyone else was inside the usual divisional limits, incidentally all 3 of the other bouts are at Featherweight.
The first of the Featherweight bouts will be the IBF title fight, and for this bout both the defending champion, Evgeny Gradovich, and the challenger, Alexander Miskirtchian, weighed in exactly the same at 125½lbs. For Gradovich this is pretty much the same as he's been fighting at in his recent bouts whilst Miskirtchian is 0.75lbs heavier than his last fight and an amazing 6lbs lighter than he was for the fight prior.
For the second Featherweight title fight, a bout for the WBA "regular" title, the champion is the slightly lighter man. The champion, Nicholas Walters, weight in at 125.5lbs whilst challenger Vic Darchinyan was a little over 125.75lbs. For Darchinyan this was the same weight he was when he fought Nonito Donaire last year in a rematch between the two. For Walters this is his highest weight for almost 2 years.
The main event, which will see Nonito Donaire challenge Simpiwe Vetyeka for the WBA Featherweight Super title saw Donaire weigh in dead on the 126lb limit, his highest career weight. Vetyeka, the defending champion, was 125.5lbs, an identical weight to what he was when he defeated Chris John last year.
(Image courtesy of Toprank)
Macau's home town hero Kuok Kun Ng (3-0, 1) continued his winning run as he appeared on "Ring of Gold" in the show's third contest.
Fighting against Indonesian Rocky Alap Alap (5-11) it seemed clear that Kouk was there make an impression and he got his sharp shots going from the off. By the end of the opening round it was clear that Alap Alap was being broken down and the fire the Indonesian had had was being extinguished quickly by the popular local fighter.
In round 2 Alap Alap seemed to get a confidence boost early on. Unfortunately for him that confidence was swiftly sucked away as Kuok landed some solid body shots. Although it was the body shots doing the damage a headshot, around 100 seconds into round 2 dropped Alap Alap. The knockdown really kicked the bout in to life with both trading shots afterwards in exciting fashion.
The third round saw Kuok continuing to hunt a stoppage. This saw Kuok landing huge right hand that would have sent lesser fighters down, though a follow up attack did send the Indonesian down with the referee waving the bout off and awarding Kuok his first stoppage victory.
Despite the dominance of Kuok he was cut from a clash of heads and did show plenty of flaws. There is plenty to like about him though he certainly needs to improve his jab and get more experience in the gym. If he continued to improve then he does have the potential to reach a decent level, even though a world title is likely to be outside of his grasp.
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