Yesterday it was revealed that unbeaten Hong Kong star Rex Tso (19-0, 12) [曹星如] would be returning to the ring on October 8th to fight for the WBO International Super Flyweight title, and taking a potential step towards a possible showdown with Naoya Inoue.
Not only was the date of Tso's next bout revealed but so to the name of his opponent, fellow unbeaten youngster Ryuto Maekawa (11-0-1, 7) [前川 龍斗].
We suspect most fans will be aware of Tso, the exciting yet often wild and crude Hong Kong fighter who has shown he can box but often enjoys a war to excite the fans rather than making life easy for himself. He has been featured heavily in Top Rank's foray in the Eastern market and has regularly been one of the stars of their Macau shows, bringing a sizeable fan base and almost guaranteed action. Although often looking limited, and having all out wars with the likes of Mako Matsuyama and Michael Enriquez, there is a really decent boxer in Tso who does sometimes appear in the ring.
For the last few years Tso has been linked to world title fights, with a lot of talk about a bout with Kohei Kono, but has been steered away from such a fight for now and and has instead started to step up the quality of his opponents with his last bout coming against former world title challenger Young Kil Bae in what was supposed to be a chance to get in the ring with an experienced, but faded, fighter. It seems clear that Top Rank don't believe he's ready for a world title bout yet, but are wanting to prepare him for the shot and as a result are putting him in with another hungry fighter next time out.
Whilst many will be aware of Tso they won't know much about Japanese 20 year old Maekawa, who debuted more than 5 years ago in Thailand as a 15 year old. Before making his Japanese debut, in 2013, Maekawa had run his record to 4-0 (4) but did struggle on his Japanese debut being given a competitive bout with Kiyoto Oshiro. In all honesty he has struggled several times since, fighting to a narrow decision wins against Tomoyuki Kaneko and Takushige Sato and to a draw with Cris Alfante last November. Interesting it seems Maekawa either blows opponents away with all out aggression early in a bout, with 7 stoppages in the first 3 rounds, or he struggles to win at all.
Whilst the bout looks like an interesting one on paper we suspect Tso's team have scouted Maekawa knowing that he will make for an exciting bout, but shouldn't be a serious test for Tso. Saying that however Maekawa's team have managed to develop one of the best prospects in world boxing, Daigo Higa, and could well have a few secrets up their sleeve in regards to Maekawa's development and mentality for this upcoming bout,which will take place in Hong Kong.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!