I want a rematch, says Kohei Kono as injured Hong Kong superstar Rex Tso leaves hospital in bandages
‘Tough Boy’ wants to get into the ring again with the ‘Wonder Kid’ after Saturday night’s super flyweight bout ends abruptly with injured crowd favourite winning on a technical decision
Hong Kong superstar boxer Rex Tso Sing-yu was discharged from hospital less than 24 hours after suffering an horrific eye injury during his contentious super flyweight victory at Clash of Champions 3 as calls for a rematch from Japan’s Kohei Kono grew louder.
Tso posted a photo on his Instagram account with a heavy bandage covering his head and injured left eye.
It was an injury that forced the bout on Saturday night at the Convention and Exhibition Centre to be stopped at the start of the seventh round in the 12-round contest for Tso’s WBO international super flyweight title.
Tso suffered a sickening clash of heads with Kono in the second round, but the unbeaten Hong Kong boxer won on points when the referee stopped the fight. The “Wonder Kid” won by technical decision with all three judges scoring it 68-66 in Tso’s favour.
Watch: Highlights of Rex Tso v Kohei Kono bout and tearful speech
But victory left a sour taste in the mouth of Kono and his camp, who argued there was a “technical problem” in how officials handled the situation right up to the time the decision was made to stop the fight.
A spokesman for the Kono camp said while they respected the judges’ decision, they were not happy that the break between the sixth and seventh rounds was allowed to drag on longer than it should have.
Kono said he didn’t want the fight to be stopped, but “I have to abide to the rules”.
“The referee didn’t allow me to continue. We can’t change the result. For sure, I want a rematch. Let’s fight again,” he said.
However, Kono was pleased to have been given the opportunity to fight in Hong Kong for the first time, saying he would like to return.
“Thank you so much to the organisers for giving me the chance to fight. I just hope I will get a rematch against Rex.
“The Hong Kong fans were tremendous and there was so much support for Rex and that made a great atmosphere.
“If we fight again, I promise I will bring my A game again and this time, it will be a different result.”
Tso, meanwhile, was resting at home and happy to report that X-rays revealed no skull fracture.
There was a tonne of messages of support for Tso on his Facebook account and genuine concern for his well-being but the “Wonder Kid” assured fans his injury was “not serious” and he would recover in two weeks.
“I would like to tell everybody that I am safe and at home resting,” he said on his Instagram account. “As you know, I suffered the injury in the second round. I was examined by the doctor in the fourth round and I was asked whether I could continue, and I said yes.
“I was asked again in the sixth round and at the start of the seventh during the break. The doctor kept asking me whether I could see or not, but before the seventh round, I shook my head.
“The doctor had a discussion with the referee and said the fight should be stopped. My heart just sank. I didn’t want it to end.
“My coach [Jake Vernano] and myself never wanted to give up, but because the injury was deteriorating we had to stop. We then went to the scorecards and luckily I was ahead on points and won,” he said.
Tso did not say whether he wanted a rematch with Kono but his manager, Jay Lau Chi-yuen, asked fans through Facebook whether they wanted to see Tso-Kono 2 and the response was positive in favour of a rematch.