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The poster for UEF 2023, featuring Rex Tso. Photo: Handout

Ultimate Extreme Fight Hong Kong 2023: Rex Tso in local team to face European Asian Powers

  • Former unbeaten professional will be back in a Hong Kong ring for first time in four years, as international boxing returns to the city
  • ‘As a professional boxer, we fight for ourselves, so it is special to box under the name of the Hong Kong team,’ teammate Raymond Poon says

Rex Tso Sing-yu will take top billing when international boxing makes its long-awaited return to Hong Kong next week in the shape of a team event between local and overseas fighters.

Ultimate Extreme Fight (UEF) Hong Kong 2023, which will be held at Wan Chai’s Southorn Stadium on January 6, will see the city’s best taking on a European Asian Powers team, with three-round bouts contested by eight boxers – seven men and one woman – from each side.

Joining Tso, who blazed a trail as the city’s first professional boxer, will be Raymond Poon Kai-ching, Kenneth Tam Chun-hin and five more who have yet to be announced. Boxers from Cambodia, Mongolia and North Macedonia will be among those making up the opposing team.

Now training in Mongolia, “Wonder Kid” Tso will feature in the UEF’s final bout, a lightweight clash with Vanna Liheang, of Cambodia.

Rex Tso is training in Mongolia in preparation for UEF 2023. Photo: Hong Kong Boxing Association
The 35-year-old’s most recent outing in Hong Kong was his winning comeback as an amateur in December 2018, having previously retired with an unbeaten professional record of 22-0-0. His only action this year was the IBA International Boxing Championships in Kuwait, where he won a bronze medal.

“This is our first time hosting an international event [since the pandemic began],” said Yeung Ho, sports executive of the Hong Kong Boxing Association. “We are pleased that we will be able to hold one early in 2023 – it will be a good test for our Asian Games boxers.”

Yeung said the association would send two or three boxers to those rescheduled regional Games in Hangzhou in September, with Tso set to be one of them, competing in the lightweight division.

“We’ve planned two more UEF fights, in mainland China and Macau, in the first half of 2023, which will also serve as warm-ups for the Games,” Yeung said.

Flyweight Poon said that he was looking forward to fighting under the city’s bauhinia flag, especially given the presence of his idol Tso, calling it a “special and rare occasion”.

“It’s been five years since Rex and I fought in the same event,” the 26-year-old said. “As a professional boxer, we fight for ourselves, so it is special to box under the name of the Hong Kong team.

Raymond Poon (left) said he was proud to fight under the Hong Kong flag. Photo: Handout

“With Rex also being in the team, I will treasure every moment of this.”

He will box in the fifth match against Orkhontungalag Unubold, of Mongolia, who earned fifth place in the Asian Boxing Championships last month.

“I have trained for the past month since accepting the invitation,” Poon said. “I’m in good shape and hope to win.”

Southorn Stadium will have a reduced capacity of 800 for the event, with tickets costing HK$580 and available from Cityline.