Unbeaten Rex Tso Sing-yu will enjoy his biggest pay day when he faces his toughest opponent, former WBC light flyweight world champion Wandee Singwancha, in Hong Kong next Tuesday.
The "wonderkid" will fight Wandee of Thailand in a 12-round bout for the WBC AMCO Asia Continental super flyweight title at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai. And the 25-year-old is guaranteed US$10,000, the most ever earned by a local fighter, whether he retains the title or not.
"The money is not the reason that drives me to train so hard. I want to be a good professional boxer. I want to be a champion," said Tso, who is hoping to extend his record to 9-0 (5 KOs).
"For the past two years, I have been training hard and I feel I am getting better as a fighter. Spectators will see a different me come Tuesday," added the Hong Kong ace, who has a top-20 ranking with the WBC.
Tso won his last fight, a TKO victory over tough Kyrgyzstani fighter Timur Shailezov in December, but suffered a cut eye in the process.
"After that fight, I felt I needed to strengthen my defence and my counter punching," said Tso, who has just returned from a month's training in the Philippines.
"I'm bobbing and weaving a lot more and hitting harder. The training in the Philippines has really improved me," he said.
Wandee, 33, has compiled a whopping 67 wins, but also 16 losses and a draw. The former WBC minimum weight (105 pounds) world title holder from 1999 to 2000 has also lost four of his past five fights.
Tso's coach and manager, Jay Lau Chi-yuen, who is also promoting the tournament, insisted Wandee would be ready for the fight and was not coming to Hong Kong for "an easy pay day".
"I was told that Wandee will retire if he loses to Rex, so he is taking this fight seriously," said Lau. "Rex's training has gone well. He trained with world-class boxers in the Philippines, including spar sessions with former WBC flyweight holder Sonny Boy Jaro. At his last fight, Rex's defence clearly wasn't that good. But he has improved his defence and he's hitting harder. He counter-punches great now.
"Rex has put a lot of heart into his training. He's going to box, counter-punch and find his openings against Wandee. Hopefully, he will win in less than six rounds," Lau said. "Rex is a southpaw, while Wandee is a conventional, orthodox boxer. It will be an interesting fight."
Next Tuesday's "Night of Champions" will also feature the professional bantamweight debut of Chu Sin-po, another fighter trained by Lau.
"Sin-po has motivated Rex in training and vice-versa. Sin-po had a lousy amateur record of one win against nine losses, but he's so much better now," Lau said.