HONG KONG – Crowd favorite Rex “The Wonder Kid” Tso suffered a swollen forehead due to an accidental headbutt but still retained his WBO International super flyweight title due to an 8th round technical decision over Japanese challenger Kohei “Rough Boy” Kono on Saturday night (Oct. 7) at the sold-out Hong Kong Entertainment and Convention Centre here.
Filipino ring physician Dr. Rene Bonsubre Jr. stopped the fight after Tso’s left eye was already closed in the 8th round.
But all three judges – Filipinos Danrex Tapdasan and Edward Ligas and Japanese Fuji Fukuchi – gave identical scores of 68-66 in favor of Tso.
Tso had a good start although he fell down from a push by Kono in the first round. Despite having a swollen forehead, Tso still managed to hurt Kono with his right hook in the third round.
Kono, however, finally found his target – Tso’s swollen forehead – starting in the fourth round until the scheduled 12-rounder title fight was finally stopped in the 8th round.
The 30-year old Tso, who thanked his thousands of fans and supporters after receiving his belt, was later rushed to the hospital for a medical check-up.
Tso remained undefeated with 22 straight wins and 13 knockouts, while Kono, a former WBA world super flyweight champion suffered his 11th defeat against 33 wins and one draw.
“They are now negotiating for a possible rematch,” said WBO supervisor Leon Panuncillo.
Tso’s chief trainer and promoter Jay Lau of DEF Promotions said that they will still wait for Tso’s medical report before they will decide on their next plan.
“But Tso had really improved his fighting skills tonight,” said Lau, who also wants
Tso to fight for the world title.
Meanwhile, Japanese Ayumi Goto also kept her unblemished clean record by scoring a hard-earned unanimous decision victory against a never-say-die Kirti of India to capture the vacant WBO Female Asia Pacific super bantamweight crown in the co-main event of the “Clash of Champions 3” boxing card.
Goto used her height and reach advantage in keeping Kirti at bay.
In the other championship fight, Takuya Watanabe survived a knockdown in the third round to stop China’s Leshan Li in 2:13 of the 5th round and went home with the vacant WBO Oriental super featherweight title.
Watanabe finally found his momentum in the 4th round and to connect his solid jabs.
In the other bout, Raymond Poon Kai Ching escaped with a majority decision against Frengky Rohi.
Welterweight Nick Frese, whose father is from Holland and his mother comes from Thailand, landed solid combinations to stop Philippine-based Indian Prabhjot Sing in 1:47 of the 5th round.
Banker-and-part-time boxer Tom Taw landed solid blows to also pummel to submission Korpron Sor Bangkru of Thailand.
Nepal’s Nibesh Ghale stopped Filipino journeyman Prell Tupaz in 1:38 of the 4th round while
Hong Kong’s upcoming female fighter Sandy Lam won by a UD against Nadya Nakhouir of Indonesia.
The CC3 card, which was co-promoted by Bob Arum of Top Rank Promotions, was presented by TFI Digital Media.
It was sponsored by Tai Hing Catering Group, NIKE, CMGE, Huawei, Mass Mutual, Olympian City and Hong Kong Broadband.