Yesterday at the Ultimate Extreme Fight-Hong Kong 2018 fight fans had the chance to see local star Rex Tso (22-0, 13) [曹星如] fight for the first time in over a year.
The former title contender, who has been away from boxing due to an eye injury, was fighting in an exhibition bout, as he took on Taiwanese amateur fighter Chiang Yi Hung.
Despite the contest being an exhibition Tso was judged to have won the bout, with the referee raising his hand after the 3 round exhibition.
After the bout Rex took to the microphhone and announced that his plan was to change his focus from the professional scene to the 2020 Olympics and he was looking to qualify for the games in Tokyo, returning to the amateur scene to do so.
At the moment that seems like a questionable plan, given that boxing's inclusion at the Olympics is hanging by a thread, but shows that Tso's focus is on the sport and that this wasn't just some one off.
For those interested in the event, we've included some highlights from Tso's bout below,
Right now the boxing calendar is just hectic, and getting busier by the day, with a lot of announcements set to be made over the coming days.
Recently the UEF in Hong Kong announced their next show, and although it's not professional boxing as such it does featured local boxing star Rex Tso (22-0, 13) [曹星如], who will be fighting for the first time since October 2017.
The unbeaten Hong Kong fighter hasn't fought since beating Kohei Kono. That bout saw him suffer a nasty eye injury which has kept him out of the ring for 13 months. Recently Tso has revealed that his boxing career isn't over, despite reports to the contrary, and that he is focusing on returning to boxing in the future.
According to the Hong Kong press Tso has been training with amateur fighters in Hong Kong and that his bout at Ultimate Extreme Fight-Hong Kong 2018 will be the start of his comeback. He has told the press in Hong Kong that the bout will allow him to see how his body feels, and how he will approach his future in the sport really depends on how he feels after the bout.
The exhibition will be fought over 3 rounds of 3 minutes and is scheduled to take place from 7PM local time on November 30th, with a weight limit of 56KG's, around 123.5lbs, well above Tso's usual fighting weight. His "opponent" will be Chiang Yi Hung, who is a notable amateur from Taiwan and the bout will take place at the Southorn Stadium in Hong Kong.
We suspect that this really will be the "start" of Tso's return to professional boxing, and we'll see him in his next professional bout early next year as he looks to build from where he was in 2017.
Last week numerous websites reported that Hong Kong star Rex Tso (22-0, 13) [曹星如] had retired from boxing citing eye injuries suffering in his win over 2-time world champion Kohei Kono [河野 公平]. Those reports however seem to be false, with the fighter himself recently speaking to the South China Morning Post and dispelling the rumour himself.
The rumour was that Tso had retired rather than compete on Superfly 3 against Aston Palicte for the WBO title, with Donnie Nietes getting the shot instead.
Tso told the SCMP:
“Yes, I have split with Jay,”
“I have left DEF [Promotions] but I’m not retiring. I am just taking a nine-month [11 months] break from my last fight because I am recovering from my injury.
“I need time to train up. I needed a long rest in order to continue my boxing career.”
The split from DEF's head honcho Jay Lau had apparently been no surprise, with the two hardly talking since Tso's bout with Kono last October. The split has seen Tsu begin being managed by his wife Candy Wu, who is likely responsible for Tsu's recent increase out of the ring activities, which has seen him take part in AID's awareness campaign in Hong Kong and become the face of Nike in Hong Kong.
The falling out between Lau and Tso is said to have been over business decisions. Given what Tso has been up to since splitting with Lau it looks like Tso was missing out on possible sponsorship opportunities, which his wife is now guiding him towards them.
It seems plausible that Tso's future, when he recovers from his injury, could see him leaving Hong Kong for fights and whilst he missed out on Superfly 3 there is a genuine chance that he could be in the ring for Superfly 4, much like how Kazuto Ioka ended his break from the ring to return this past weekend.
The original article from the SCMP can be read here.
(Image courtesy of the BBC)
Last October we saw Hong Kong star Rex Tso (22-0, 13) [曹星如] score the biggest win of his career, a technical decision win over former 2-time world champion Kohei Kono [河野 公平]. The win seemed almost certain to put Tso in line for a world title fight, though unfortunately he suffered an injury in the bout which has seen him out of the ring for almost a year.
That injury has taken significant time to rehabilitate and Tso, now 30, is still undergoing regular checks to his left eye which hasn't returned to normal yet.
At recent business event, about insurance, Tso stated it was unclear on when he would be fit to return but that he is back in training but as of July there was no fixed time table for when he would be back in the ring. He did however state that he was still contracted to his promoter and it does seem clear that he is wanting to continue his career when deemed fit to do so.
Although not able to fight Tso isn't sitting on his laurels, he has worked with an American insurance company, signing up and explaining that as a sports person his career could be short and would like insurance to protect him going forward, he has remained involved around boxing whilst supporting Raymond Poon KaiChing (6-1, 3), who scored the biggest win of his career in July and more recently been involved in some out of the ring activity.
The latest reports on Tso state that he is now part of a Aids awareness campaign in Hong Kong. He has been signed up for adverts regarding the Hong Kong AIDS Foundation and will be clearly hoping that he can remaining in the public eye whilst he recovers, and that he can help raise awareness of AIDS in Hong Kong, which was on the rise last year and is close to becoming a major problem with younger man in the 20-29 age group.
Whilst we all look forward to seeing Tso return from his injury it is great to see that he is using his fame to try and promote something like AIDS awareness whilst he's unable to fight.
Earlier today fight fan sin Hong Kong saw an absolute barn burner, as former 2-time world champion Kohei Kono (33-11-1, 14) [河野 公平] faced off with local star star Rex Tso (22-0, 13) [曹星如].
The bout was, on paper at least, something to get really excited about. It was two men who's styles were expected to gel, and we had anticipated a special type of bout. One of those that live on long in the annals of boxing folklore, without really getting the wider recognition they deserve. What we got was the all action bout we expected, but one that ended without the outcome we had really hoped for.
In the first round Kono looked to bring the pressure, but Tso's youth and speed proved to be the difference. In round 2 a nasty head clash left Tso with a notable swelling over his head. That swelling would grow as the fight went on, but wasn't an immediate issue. In fact it seemed to spurr on Kono who upped his pace and looked to really take the fight to Tso.
From rounds 3 to 6 pace of Kono kept increasing, whilst Tso seemed to begin tiring, and slowing down. Tso's slow down also came with the swelling increasing and his left eye swelling shut.
Kono had his best round in round 7, and it seemed like Tso really was feeling the pace. In fact Tso's willingness to fight Kono's fight had taken a lot out of him.
At the end of round 7 the doctor decided enough was enough, and stopped the bout due to the swelling, taking us to the scorecards. They all favoured Tso, with scores of 68-66, surprisingly having round 7 as a 10-10 round despite it looking like a clear Kono round.
With the win Tso moves closer to a world title fight, but gven the end of the fight, and the action we had had, there are calls from fans for a rematch, and being honest we're joining those calls, as fans our selves. It a damned fun fight, and we want another!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!