Rex Tso Sing-yu makes weight for Ring of Gold bout against Mako Matsuyama - just

Hong Kong fighter creeps under the 115-pound limit for fight against Japanese ace after undergoing food and sleep deprivation

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 February, 2014, 10:15pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 February, 2014, 12:21am

Hong Kong's "Wonder Kid" Rex Tso Sing-yu barely made the weight for Saturday's Ring of Gold after a harrowing 24 hours of sleep deprivation and no food ahead of his super flyweight showdown with Japan's Mako Matsuyama at the CotaiArena.

The 26-year-old unbeaten Hong Kong star (11-0, 7 KOs) will take on the Japanese ace (7-7-1, 3 KOs) after just making the 115-pound limit for the 10-round bout at Friday's weigh-in.

Tso will defend his WBC ABCO Asia continental super-flyweight title for a second time and challenge for the vacant WBO Asia-Pacific junior bantamweight title, and was a relieved man after dipping to 114.6 pounds. Matsuyama weighed in at 114.4 pounds.

I only had one apple to eat in 30 hours. I will slowly replenish myself and eat slowly. I am sure my weight will move back to 125 pounds by tomorrow
Rex Tso

"Every time he makes weight, he has to suffer," said Tso's trainer and manager, Jay Lau Chi-yuen. "Imagine trying to make weight from 130 to 115 pounds in less than 10 days; for the last few days, he was only eating one apple. He can't say he's not suffering. But Rex knows this is all part of the job.

Watch: Boxing phenomenon Rex Tso Sing-yu tells the SCMP what the key to his success is

"Rex told me he couldn't sleep at night at all because he was trying to make weight. If you don't make weight, there are consequences. But Rex was the one who told us not to worry and that he will be fine.

"Since Rex is carrying a bit more muscle from last time, it is actually a bit easier for him to lose weight because he can sweat more."

Tso said suffering was part of the game and it wasn't as bad as it sounded.

"I'm already used to this and although I didn't get any sleep at all because I was worrying about making weight and I was so hungry all through the night, I have gone through worse," said Tso.

"I only had one apple to eat in 30 hours. I will slowly replenish myself and eat slowly. I am sure my weight will move back to 125 pounds by tomorrow [Saturday]."

Tso has another battle on his hands against Matsuyama, but is confident of victory.

"We expect the fight to go the distance [10 rounds] because Matsuyama is a resilient fighter and he doesn't give up easily," said Lau. China's two-time Olympic gold medallist Zou Shiming (3-0) weighed in at 111.8 pounds for his flyweight contest against Thailand's Yokthong Kokietgym (15-3, 11 KOs). Yokthong weighed in at 110.6 pounds.

"I have prepared carefully for my fight and I am confident I will put on a good show," said the 32-year-old mainlander.

Ring of Gold will also include bouts featuring two other Olympic gold medallists. London Games middleweight champion Ryota Murata (2-0, 2 KOs) of Japan will take on Brazil's Carlos Nascimento (28-3, 22 KOs), while Russia's Egor Mekhontsev (1-0, 1 KO), light heavyweight champion in London, faces Thailand's Atthaporn Jaritram (3-0, 1 KO).

The nine-bout tournament also features an IBF lightweight title fight between holder Miguel Angel Vazquez (33-3, 13 KOs) of Mexico and unbeaten Russian Denis Shafikov (33-0-1, 17 KOs).