Hong Kong’s Rex Tso Sing-yu continued his meteoric rise up the super flyweight division, winning two belts on one night in Ring of Gold in Macau on Saturday to move a step closer to a shot at the world title.
The 26-year-old “Wonder Kid” bloodied and battered Japan’s warrior fighter, Mako Matsuyama, with a devastating eight-round knockout victory in one of the night’s most exciting and brutal bouts, to retain his WBC Asian Continental super flyweight title and snatch the vacant WBO Asia-Pacific junior bantamweight title.
Tso, who extended his unbeaten record to 12-0 (8 KOs), floored 24-year-old Matsuyama in the second round for a standing eight count, and was the stronger and more aggressive fighter throughout the remaining rounds.
He always had Matsuyama in his pocket as he scored withright and left jabs, and it was only a matter of time before the Japanese, whose right eye was bloodied in the sixth round, fell to the canvas.
And fall he did for the final time after Tso threw leather at the helpless Matsuyama, sending him flat on his back one minute and 27 seconds into the eighth round.
Matsuyama’s arms and legs were wobbly going into the round and when Tso hit him with more than a dozen unanswered blows, it was curtains for the Japanese, who crashed to the canvas before being attended to by his medical team.
Matsuyama’s record dropped to 7-8-1 (3 KOs) after the scheduled 10-round bout.
Watch Hong Kong's Rex Tso in a sparring session Ng Kuok-kun before he leaves for the Philippines
“I felt sorry for him after I saw him flat on his back,” said Tso. “I thought I would be able to knock him out after six or seven rounds. I took a deep breath and went for the eighth round. I knew I had him.
“My coach [Aljoe Jaro] told me to stay away from the ropes and to keep fighting in the centre of the ring. When the crowd was cheering for me and I won, it felt like I won the world title. I was confident from the start,” said Tso.
“I am very happy with this victory, but a bit upset that I hurt him so bad. We have to respect each other.
“I was a bit nervous in rounds six and seven. But my coach told me to relax. It was a tough competition but I had prepared myself for ten rounds,” he added.
It was a fast and furious start to the nine-bout extravaganza with the opening two fights ending quickly.
In the night’s first bout, the Philippines’ Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas extended his record to 17-1-1 (10 Kos) after stopping Thailand’s Inthanon Sithchamuang inside two rounds.
The Filipino landed an uppercut and then a big left hook that dropped his Thai opponent for the second time in the scheduled eight-round super flyweight contest.
Fellow Filipino Harmonito Dela Torre stretched his unbeaten super featherweight record to 12-0 (7 KOs) after knocking out outclassed Yakobus Heluka of Indonesia two minutes and 17 seconds into the first round, stopping his opponent with a right that sent Heluka to the canvas for the count.
Macau’s local super welterweight hope Ng Kuok Kun had the crowd on their feet when he scored an excellent third-round TKO against Indonesia’s Rocky Alap-Alap despite a cut forehand.
Ng was caught early by Alap-Alap’s glove in the first minute of the first round, but came back strongly in the second and third rounds to score his third straight victory as a rookie.
The referee stopped the contest one minute, 17 seconds into the third round after Ng landed a right hand that had Alap-Alap falling to one knee and unable to continue.
In the night’s first headline fights, Japan’s Olympic gold medallist Ryota Murata stayed undefeated (3-0, 3 KOs) in his embryonic professional career.
The middleweight, who is also the 2012 London Games champion, scored a fourth-round TKO victory against Brazilian Carlos Nascimento.
Murata scored 15 to 16 unanswered blows against the Brazilian and then connected with a huge uppercut to send his opponent to the canvas. The referee stopped the fight 43 seconds into the fourth round.
“It went really well I thought,” said Murata, Japan’s 100th Olympic gold medallist. “That uppercut did it for me. I had to end it then and there. I am proud to have put up a good performance.”