My goal is to compete in the Tokyo Olympics, says Hong Kong boxing star Rex Tso after less than impressive comeback
- The Wonder Kid defeats Taiwanese amateur Chiang Yi-hung by decision
- Hong Kong star is returning to his amateur days after seven years as a professional
Hong Kong’s unbeaten super flyweight Rex Tso Sing-yu won his comeback fight on Friday night after a 13-month lay-off and then announced he would try to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Fighting in the main event of Ultimate Extreme Fight, which included a live band, the Wonder Kid blew away the cobwebs to defeat Taiwanese amateur Chiang Yi-hung on points at Southorn Stadium in a less than impressive return.
Wearing a red tank top and trunks, Tso waved to the crowd when he entered the stadium but he looked distinctively ring rusty as judges somehow gave the verdict to him by unanimous decision.
Tso then told the crowd that it was always his aim to compete at the Olympics.
“I had the chance to compete in the Olympics 10 years ago but I was lazy and didn’t go for it. I will try my hardest to qualify for it beginning with the Olympic qualifiers next year,” the southpaw said.
“It’s really been a long time away from the ring. I really missed the thrill of fighting. After I came back from training, I received so many messages of support. Hopefully, everybody will continue to support me while I try for the Olympics,” he said.
The 31-year-old Tso, who was once No 1 on the WBO ranking list, wanted to ease back into doing what he does best. He had told the media that he wanted to see how his body felt after his long absence from the ring before determining his future in the sport.
But if Tso wants a spot in Tokyo, he will need to improve in leaps and bounds. He lacked the spark and quickness he showed 13 months ago and it was Chiang who displayed more promise.
Tso walked into many of Chiang’s punches and the Wonder Kid hardly troubled his unheralded opponent.
“I’ll keep on training and hopefully I can improve. There are many areas I need to improve on. I will try to grab this chance and compete in Tokyo. I hope to get the ticket for Tokyo.”
Fans of Hong Kong’s first professional boxer didn’t expect a three-round exhibition against a virtual unknown fighter in his comeback. It was a huge climbdown from his heights as a fighter last October when he packed the Convention and Exhibition Centre in his bout against former WBA champion Kohei Kono, which he won by technical decision despite suffering a nasty left eye injury.
Tso couldn’t have picked an easier opponent in his comeback. For a start, few people had heard of Chiang, whose exploits as an amateur would only be known in Taiwan. Tso didn’t have to cut weight after both boxers agreed to fight at a 56kg limit (123.5 pounds) which is well above the 115-pound limit fighting weight Tso has been used to. He also had only three rounds to show his fitness and finesse when 12 rounds has been the norm in recent years.
Even Tso’s training was no way near the level he had to endure over the years, with a 12-day training camp in China all that was needed to get into shape.
Meanwhile, 36-year-old Filipino fighter Donnie Nietes will fight for the vacant WBO super flyweight world title against Japanese contender Kazuto Iota in Macau on December 31.
Six months ago, Tso was given a chance to fight for the title but he turned down a chance of a lifetime to focus on recovering from his left eye injury suffered against Kono in October 2017.
Nietes (41-1-5, 23 KOs) will get a second bite at the cherry after he fought fellow Filipino Aston Palicte for the WBO title in September, only for the fight to end in a controversial split draw in Inglewood, California.
Nietes, who is hoping to win his fourth world title in as many divisions, will face 29-year-old Japanese challenger Ioka (23-1-0, 13 KOs) – a three-division world champion – at the Wynn Palace Cotai in Macau on New Year’s Eve.