Hong Kong boxing’s golden boy Rex Tso Sing-yu extended his winning streak to 21 after a knockout victory over Japan’s Hirofumi Mukai at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Tso, 29, who remains undefeated in his professional boxing career, was supported by 8,000 euphoric fans at the Clash of Champions 2’s main event on Saturday night.
Before the event, Tso was all smiles as he greeted his fellow fighters, fans and the celebrities who attended the event. It was a complete contrast to his attitude during the weigh-ins the day before, in which he stared Mukai down with an uncharacteristic frown.
There was tension in the air as Hong Kong’s home-grown hero walked out to some upbeat Cantonese hip hop. As with all his fights, Tso carries a whole city’s dreams on his shoulders, so the pressure was on.
But the Wonder Kid thrives on pressure. The heated fight ended after Tso unleashed a powerful left hand to Mukai’s body, causing the Osaka-born boxer to fall to the ground. It was the third time Tso had knocked his opponent down during a fight.
However, Tso’s victory did not come easy. Spectators held their breath for much of the fight as Mukai showcased very quick hands and caught Tso with some heavy punches. Tso was visibly rocked in the second round and later revealed that Mukai’s left hook hit him so hard that he couldn’t even hear his coach’s instructions ringside.
But the Wonder Kid was fearless and kept moving forward, closing down his opponent’s space with a flurry of accurate punches.
Tso showed great energy throughout the fight, and the fans were delighted to see the referee stop the bout in the eighth round.
“Give me 10 seconds to catch my breath! Thank you to everyone for cheering my name during the fight,” said an emotional Tso. He then asked the spectators to give his opponent, Mukai, a warm round of applause for offering such a challenging fight.
The classy Tso did not stop there, adding: “Thank you all for staying here until the very end. It’s 1am now so you must be starving.”
This win adds the WBO Asia Pacific crown to Tso’s collection, having retained his WBO international super flyweight and WBC Asian Boxing Council super flyweight titles.
So what’s next for the Wonder Kid? After a well-deserved break, Tso may be in line to fight Japanese boxing legend Kohei Kono.
There has also been speculationabout a future world title shot. With 21 wins in a row, it certainly isn’t too much to ask.