Superstar boxer Rex Tso floors Carrie Lam & Co as the top trending Hong Kong person in current affairs

The unbeaten 30-year-old southpaw makes it to the top in news searches, beating chief executive Carrie Lam and political heavyweight John Tsang for 2017

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 December, 2017, 4:34pm
UPDATED : Friday, 19 January, 2018, 4:54pm

Hong Kong phenomenon Rex Tso Sing-yu had a knockout year in 2017, winning both his bouts, drawing millions to his fights online and keeping his unbeaten record intact. The southpaw’s popularity also took a huge upswing according to search engine giant Google, which named him the top trending person in Hong Kong current affairs for 2017.

The 30-year-old unbeaten boxer (22-0-0, 13 KOs) floored his competition, beating even Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor (4) and rival political heavyweight John Tsang Chun-wah (5) to the number one spot.

Searches were done in mostly Chinese with Hongkongers typing in Tso’s Chinese name.

Tso is the first athlete to make it to the top of the Google list since it started compiling records in 2008 and his popularity underlines Hongkongers’ passion for sports, according to the American multinational technology company.

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The other Hong Kong athlete who made it to the top 10 list in the same category was high jumper and part-time model Cecilia Yeung Man-wai, whose talent, Hong Kong records and international medals helped her earn the No 8 spot.

Tso also topped the list for Google’s top trending sports keywords in Hong Kong for 2017, ahead of this year’s Wimbledon tennis championships (2), the Australian Open (3) and the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon (4).

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Top local cyclist Sarah Lee Wai-sze also made it into the top 10 in this category ahead of Japanese boxer Kohei Kono, who completed the list.

The bout between Tso and “Tough Boy” Kono in October, which the “Wonder Kid” won on a technical decision despite suffering a nasty headbutt, also drew huge interest with Kono also making it to the top 10 list for Hong Kong’s top trending people in current affairs (international).

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Tso and Kono’s “Clash of Champions 3” showdown was ranked ninth on Google’s list for Hong Kong’s most trending local news search, behind Typhoon Hato (1) and the chief executive election (2).

In all, Tso made it to the top 10 list in three categories.

Tso also drew huge interest in March when he knocked out Japanese rival Hirofumi Mukai in the eighth round of their super flyweight fight.

Both of Tso’s 2017 bouts were attended by sell-out crowds of 8,000, while more than three million viewers watched his fights on live stream platforms across China, Japan and Thailand.

Google also reported that apart from Hongkongers searching for Tso, North America, Australia and China had also keyed in Tso’s English name in their searches, too, recording huge spikes in traffic in March and October when he fought.

“Rex has been famous for the past couple of years but data revealed that Hongkongers had huge interest in him and that pushed him to becoming the most trending person in current affairs in 2017,” said a Google spokesman.

Tso is on leave and could not be reached for comment but had said after his fight against Kono he was taking a six-month enforced break after suffering a horrendous left eye injury as a result of a clash of heads during the second round of his bout against Kono.

Tso took to Instagram and Facebook to announce doctors had advised him to take time off to give his eye a rest.

Google Hong Kong’s Top Trending People in Current Affairs (Local) 2017

1. Rex Tso Sing-yu

2. Howard Lam Tsz-kin

3. Donald Tsang Yam-kuen

4. Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor

5. John Tsang Chun-wah

6. Patrick Ho Chi-ping

7. Seasun

8. Cecilia Yeung Man-wai

9. Woo Kwok-hing

10. Agnes Meiling Kaneko Chan

Google Hong Kong’s Top Trending Local News Search 2017

1. Typhoon Hato

2. Chief Executive Election

3. Hing Tak School

4. Blue Whale Game

5. Policy Address

6. Food Truck

7. Typhoon Pakhar

8. DSE Results Announcements 2017

9. Rex Tso fight

10. PopVote

Google Hong Kong’s Top Trending People in Current Affairs (International) 2017

1. Liu Xiaobo

2. Kim Jong-nam

3. Donald Trump

4. Floyd Mayweather

5. Xiao Jianhua

6. Emmanuel Macron

7. Philippe Coutinho Correia

8. Xu Xiaodong

9. Ke Jie

10. Kohei Kono

Google Hong Kong’s Top Trending Sports Keywords 2017

1. Rex Tso Sing-yu

2. 2017 Wimbledon Tennis Championships

3. Australian Open 2017

4. Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2017

5. 2017 US Open

6. Cecilia Yeung Man-wai

7. 2017 Fifa Confederations Cup

8. 64th Macau Grand Prix 2017

9. Sarah Lee Wai-sze

10. Kohei Kono