"Ring of Gold" began with 4 relatively one sided bouts but things picked up drastically in the show's fifth contest as Hong Kong's hugely popular Rex Tso (12-0, 8) battled Japan's Mako Matsuyama (7-8-1, 3) in a genuinely entertaining Super Flyweight battle.
The fight started fast with both men unloading a lot of of shots. Unfortunately for Matsuyama his shots lacked the power needed to get Tso's respect whilst Tso's shots seemed to have real venom in them.
The power difference between the two men showed in the second round when Matsuyama was dropped. Bravely he got back up and immediately took the fight back to Tso in as we continued to get a high speed and relatively even battle between two men who were much better matched than their records indicated.
The third round started as an all out slugfest and saw both men standing toe-to-toe just hammering the other. Unfortunately for Matsuyama it did appear that things were ominous with Tso able to just walk through everything Matsuyama threw at him.
Amazingly Matsuyama managed to come on strong in round 4 and arguable won the round with his work rate as he some how found extra reserves of energy. Sadly though that was Matsuyama's final real stand and in round 5 it was visibly clear that he was wilting and losing his form. His shots, which had been snappy even if they did lack power, were becoming wider and sloppier in round 5.
Having looked pretty spent in round 5 Matsuyama again found new reserves of energy in round 6 as he took the fight back to Tso. Unfortunately as the men traded a clash of heads opened up a notable, though not fight ending, cut on Matsuyama. Whilst the cut didn't stop the fight it did seem that Matsuyama was ready to go in round 7. Amazingly Matsuyama withstood a monster attack from Tso in the seventh round though a big attack in round 8 saw Matsuyama collapsing from exhaustion as much as anything.
The bout was great all action from the 1st round to the 8th though in all honesty this perhaps went on a little too long with Matsuyama taking a little bit more punishment in rounds 7 and 8 than needed. Saying that it was hard to stop the contest as Matsuyama continued to throw back.
With this win Tso unifies his WBC Asia Council Continental Super Flyweight title with the WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title and may actually enhance his WBO ranking which was recently #15.
(Picture courtesy of boxrec.com)
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