Hong Kong boxing superstar Rex Tso has no chance of taking world title from ‘The Monster’, his next opponent scoffs

Former WBA world champion strongly advises Hong Kong’s unbeaten superstar to avoid fighting Yokohama’s fighting machine next year

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 09 September, 2017, 4:00pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 September, 2017, 3:03pm

Rex Tso Sing-yu’s next opponent says the Hong Kong boxing superstar will have no chance against Japan’s Naoya Inoue if a proposed world title showdown against “The Monster” comes to pass.

First, “Wonder Kid” Tso has to beat former WBA world champion Kohei Kono (33-10-1, 14 KOs) next month in a 12-round super flyweight contest for the WBO international title.

If the unbeaten southpaw (21-0-0, 13 KOs) extends his record on October 7 at the Convention and Exhibition Centre, a March 2018 clash against Inoue has been mooted.

But 36-year-old “Tough Boy” Kono scoffed at Tso’s chances against his compatriot, urging him not to take the bait.

“Rex won’t have a chance of winning and it’s just not worth it,” said Kohei, who headlines Clash of Champions 3 with Tso for what is expected to be a sell-out clash in front of 8,000 fans.

“A lot of people who have sparred against [Inoue] and who studied his technique can’t figure out a way to defeat him because he’s just too good.

“There’s no way Rex can beat him and that’s the honest truth.

Watch: Kohei Kono train in Tokyo for Clash of Champions 3

“Other people have said the same thing; he’s unbeatable at this moment and he’s stronger than anyone in the whole division. He’s super strong and he’s definitely number one.”

Kono is well qualified to talk about the reigning WBO world super flyweight champion from Yokohama: he fought the 24-year-old last year and was knocked out for the first time in his career.

Inoue, who is reputed to be one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in any division, successfully defended his WBO title for a sixth time on Saturday night against American Antonio Nieves (now 17-2-2) at the StubHub Centre, Carson, California, the Monster’s first fight in the United States and his first outside Japan. Inoue battered his latest opponent in a sixth-round TKO to improve his record to 14-0-0, 12 KOs.

Meanwhile, Kono has changed his tune about Tso.

Last month, Kono said he would knock out Tso within nine rounds, but now says winning “would be a big comeback for me”.

‘Tough Boy’ Kohei Kono passes test to make Rex Tso fight official

Kono is trying to resurrect his career after two straight world title defeats – against Luis Concepcion of Panama for the WBA title in August 2016 and then against Inoue for the WBO belt in December.

“Even if I win on points against Rex, it’s good enough for me,” said Kono. “My experience will count and I expect to be on top of my game again. I have fought against southpaws before too, so it won’t present a problem to me.

“Rex will definitely have home advantage. I’m the outsider but I will be ready and I’ll do my best.

“I’ve seen Rex’s fights on video and know how tough he is. He fights with a lot of courage and heart. He has a lot of speed and he never gives up. He’s going to be tough to beat.”

Kohei Kono is of a different calibre, admits Hong Kong superstar Rex Tso ahead of Clash of Champions 3

Kono plans to fly in his wife and four-month-old daughter to Hong Kong for the fight.

“I’m a boxer first and a family man second. Boxing is my life and now I have a family, boxing has become even more important to me.

“I’ll show the audience what I am made of. They will see a real fight next month.”