Watch: How HK's best boxer will spend Chinese New Year
Southpaw fighter Rex Tso Sing-yu has been told to "slow down" as he prepares for his coming bout in February's Ring of Gold after suffering a slight training setback last week.
The unbeaten 26-year-old Hong Kong star injured his calf in training in the Philippines, where he is in the middle of a five and-a-half week training stint, and was advised by manager and coach Jay Lau Chi-yuen to take a few days rest.
"I pulled my calf in training and was in pain last week when I couldn't stand up properly, but it's healing fast and I'm much better now," said Tso, who was in Hong Kong on Monday for promotional commitments before flying back to the Philippines on Tuesday night to continue his training.
"I was really worried about my calf last week and that it might jeopardise my fight in Macau. Since I have been doing lots of footwork in my workouts, I have been training hard, perhaps too hard, so it's good that I am taking it easy these past few days," said Tso, who takes on Japan's Mako Matsuyama (7-7-1, 3 KOs) at Macau's CotaiArena on February 22.
Coach Lau said Tso (11-0-0, 7 KOs) should be in tip-top condition for his latest fight as his protégé looks to extend his unbeaten streak to 12 professional victories.
The "Wonder Kid" will also defend his WBC ABCO Asia continental super-flyweight title for a second time and challenge for the vacant WBO Asia-Pacific super-flyweight title in Macau.
"Rex might have been overtraining as he hasn't really taken a proper rest since turning professional in September 2011," said Lau. "He has only had three weeks rest since turning pro. Even after his fights, he goes straight back to training in the Philippines [under Filipino trainer Aljoe Jaro in Binangonan, Rizal]. "His mind is on training all the time so I told him to rest and don't do any training for the next few days. He should be fine after that because it's only a minor [injury] problem."
Lau revealed Tso was knocked down in training against a heavier and bigger bantamweight sparring opponent on January 18, but Tso was not hurt.
"Since Matsuyama is a natural bantamweight and is a bigger opponent, we decided to put Rex up against bigger sparring partners. He's taking more punishment in his sparring sessions. This is good training," said Lau.
Tso will spend Lunar New Year in the Philippines for the third straight year and will have no time for family reunions.
"My family is very understanding that I have to train and prepare for fights. This is my job. I try to keep myself motivated all the time so I can train hard," said Tso, HK's first pro boxer.