Earlier today in China fans were able to see former WBO Flyweight champion Sho Kimura (18-2-2, 11) [木村翔] return to the ring for the first time since losing the world title to Kosei Tanaka last year.
The exciting Japanese fighter was up against Thai veteran Pigmy Kokietgym (60-11-2, 24), aka Wicha Phulaikhao, and really did as he pleased from the opening round.
Kimura managed to show a crisp jab in the opening round, showing that he had worked on correcting some of the technical flaws that have held him back at times, before moving through the gears in rounds 2 and 3 to stop the Thai, who was dropped 3 times in round 3.
With the win Kimura becomes the new OPBF Flyweight Silver champion. Had the Thai won the title would have remained vacant following his failure to make weight yesterday.
Also on the card was was an exciting brawl between Fangyong Zhang (12-4-1, 3) and Ryuto Maekawa (11-2-1, 7), which saw the Chinese fighter taking a technical decision following a head clash. There was also an excellent performance by Shichao Gao (3-0-1, 1) who impressed and stopped Koji Igarashi (4-4, 3) in the second round.
In 2016 fight fans in Hong Kong had an absolute treat as Rex Tso (21-0, 13) [曹星如] went to war with Japan's Ryuto Maekawa (11-1-1, 7) [前川 龍斗]. The bout was instantly regarded as being something special, with both men showing their warrior instincts and putting on an action packed 10 battle of attrition.
In the end Tso, cheered on by those at the Convention Towers and Exhibition Center in Hong Kong, came out on top, with a clear but very hard fought decision win.
Earlier this week it was announced that that bout had won the “WBC Asia Boxing Council Fight of the Year 2016”, with the folks at the WBC Asia Boxing Council having been blown away by the action, tempo and style of the two men.
Tso took to facebook to appreciate the recognition, saying-"To get Fight of the Year is something I will cherish and it recognises the effort I have been making for years since I turned pro".
The award makes a good double for Tso as his promoter Jay Lau Chi-yuen was selected as the “WBC China Zone Promoter of the Year” for his work in 2016.
Both Tso and Lau will be able to collect their awards in May in Bangkok as the WBC put on an awards ceremony to honour the various award winners, which will also recognise Alexander Shah as the "WBC Asia Boxing Promoter of The Year 2016", following a brilliant year for Mr Shah.
For those who missed Tso Vs Maekawa we've included it in full below.
This weekend has been a hectic one for Asian boxing, and unfortunately we were all away so now we're catching up on the stories of the weekend!
One of the most high profile Asian bouts from the past few days saw Hong Kong star Rex Tso (20-0, 12) [曹星如] claim a thrilling decision win over Ryuto Maekawa (11-1-1, 7) [前川 龍斗] in a bout that was incredible to say the least.
The bout started fast and never slowed down as the two fighters threw everything at each other in a brilliant back and forth that saw neither man willing to given up their unbeaten records. Sadly for Maekawa the result did see him losing unbeaten record, courtesy of scores of 98-92, twice, and 99-91, though fans thought the bout was much closer than those cards suggested, and it seemed that neither man deserved to lose.
After the bout Maekawa was taken to hospital, with the 20 year old, suffering a burst eardrum, but has since been cleared and has flown back to Japan with a hugely enhanced reputation and it's clear that the 20 year old is better than he had looked in bouts prior to this one.
For Tso, who continued his unbeaten record, the bout was another tough and draining one and although he passed the gut check there is some worries about how he'll fair when he steps up again. It seems like we could find out in 2017 with Tso being linked to Kohei Kono and Jamie Conlan, in what would be another boxing treat for fans of mindless wars and wonderful violence!
Tomorrow fans in Hong Kong will be able to see local star Rex Tso (19-0, 12) [曹星如] battle off against fellow unbeaten Ryuto Maekawa (11-0-1, 7) [前川 龍斗] in a bout for two minor titles.
Today the two men made weight for the bout, though weigh in specifics haven't been released to ourselves at the moment with Shirai Gushiken Sports gym just informing us that the two men had safely made weight.
The bout, which headlines "Battle of Victors" in Hong Kong could see the winner taking a huge step towards world title fight in 2017, with the winner expected to establish very high rankings with the WBA and WBO, as a courtesy of the minor titles, and potentially open the door to fights for either of those belts next year.
For fans in interested in betting on this bout, Tso has been priced as a prohibitive favourite, with odds ranging from 1/12 to 1/33, showing how how confident they are in the Hong Kong "Wonderboy". Maekawa on the other hand has been priced at 8/1 with most bookies, though one does have him at 10/1 for the upset. For those interested in the draw that has been widely priced at 33/1, with many seeing it as an almost impossible result here.
The only other betting market that we have odds for on the bout is the "total rounds" market, which has been set over/under 9.5 rounds. The over is 4/6 whilst the under is 11/10 making it a much more interesting market than the "To Win" one.
(Image courtesy of SGS Gym)
A group of 5 Japanese youngsters have travelled to the mountainous region of Kuruyama to begin a week long training camp. By it's self that's bit news but the fighters involved are themselves pretty big news.
The most notable of the fighters involved in the camp is OPBF Flyweight champion Daigo Higa (10-0, 10) [比嘉大吾], who we suspect will have his next bout announced in the coming weeks, another notable youngster their is amateur star Keisuke Matsumoto [松本圭佑], who has just come runner up in a national tournament.
Whilst those two are perhaps the most notable others at the camp include Ryuto Maekawa (11-0-1, 7) [前川龍斗], who faces Rex Tso (19-0, 12) in October, Riku Nagahama (5-0-1, 1) [長濱陸] and Rookie of the Year competitor Yoshimitsu Kimura (5-0, 3) [木村吉光].
The camp started on August 22nd and will run to August 29th with the focus then returning to training closer to home for bouts before the end of the year.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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