Tso wars again in Hong Kong homecoming

Mathew Scott
29/08/2015 4:55pm

The puzzle that is Rex Tso continued to build here Saturday as Hong Kong’s first pro fighter won his 18th straight bout, a left-right combination sending Australian Brad Hore to his knees with 2.54 gone in the seventh round for a TKO that added the WBC Asian Boxing Council super-flyweight title to Tso’s growing collection of belts.

The 28-year-old Tso had earlier in the round sent Hore to the canvas twice with fierce body shots and, by that stage, taken control of an entertaining bout that had seen both fighters stand – and deliver – in the centre of the ring through the early rounds. Tso upped the tempo in the sixth and found his range as he worked Hore’s body and said afterwards that the Aussie had surprised him.

“The first two rounds he was quicker than I thought he would be. It took me a little while to work out how to cut him off but after that I always knew I would get the win,” said Tso, who added the title to the WBA International super-flyweight and WBO Asia Pacific super-flyweight belts already in his possession.

But Tso, also known in these parts as ‘The Wonder Kid’, left the crowd at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre doing exactly that – wondering – after he once again got drawn into scrapping early with the Aussie battler when the smarter plan would have been to simply outbox an opponent who was brave but outclassed.

The major question is just how far can the 28-year-old go? Thus far in his career those 18 victories, with 11 knockouts, have come against a ragtag collection of journeymen and diminutive Aussie Hore certainly fit that bill at 33 years of age but with a modest record now of 5-2 (2 KOs).

In a city starved of sporting stars, Tso has become a sensation and tonight’s sell-out crowd of around 2,000 thrilled to every punch he threw. His camp said afterwards that the extra strength work they had invested in their fighter had paid off – as those body shots certainly illustrated – and they would be watching with interest on 16 October when Japanese fighters Kohei Kono and Koki Kameda square off for the WBA super-flyweight title in Chicago.

“We want a world title shot,” said Tso’s manager Jay Lau. “Now we have to work out how we can get one.”

British boxers brought the seven-bout card to a close with Hong Kong-based English banker Tom Taw graduating from the white collar ranks to grab a split-points nod over fellow pro debutant Fabio Lanzetti of Italy in their four-round super-middleweight clash.

Wales’ former European middleweight champ Kerry Hope – who now fights out of Brisbane, Australia – then slugged it out with Thailand’s Petchsuriya Singwancha in their WBC Asian Boxing Council middleweight title bout, dominating in everyone’s opinion but the judges who called the bout a controversial draw. Scores were 114-114 115-113 (Singwancha) and 111-117 (Hope).

The Thai had failed to make the weight on Friday – a whole six pounds over no less – and he was breathing hard from the first bell. The 33-year-old Hope picked his opponent off at will and never really let up from then on in. The result was baffling. Hope is now 22-7-1 (2 KOs).