Hong Kong fighter Rex Tso will win a world title this year, says coach
Filipino coach speaks about his Wonder Kid, ahead of Ring of Gold bout
He is known as the "maker of world champions" in the Philippines. But despite his stable of top-notch fighters, Aljoe Jaro still considers Hong Kong's Rex Tso Sing-yu as one of his best prospects.
Having been the coach of Hong Kong's "Wonder Kid" for more than a year, Jaro feels that 26-year-old Tso will one day lift a world title.
"I have many prospects in my gym and I consider Rex to be my next prospect.
"He has done everything I have asked him to do in the gym and he has done everything well. He has already made it," said Jaro, who has trained five past and present world champions - all from the Philippines.
"Rex is beginning to reach his peak. Next year might be too long a wait for him. Two more fights and he will be ready for a world title. Yes, I truly believe Rex can win a world title within this year."
Tso is out to extend his unbeaten professional record (11-0, 7 KOs) in Saturday's Ring of Gold when he takes on Japan's 25-year-old Mako Matsuyama (7-7-1, 3 KOs).
He will defend his WBC ABCO Asia continental super-flyweight title for a second time and challenge for the vacant WBO Asia-Pacific junior bantamweight title in a 10-round bout.
"What you're going to see on Saturday night will be a different Rex than the one we saw in November [when Tso won his last bout in Clash in Cotai]. His left hand has improved tremendously," said Jaro.
"When I first coached him, he didn't have a [power] left hand to speak of even though he's a southpaw. His right has always been perfect, but not his left. He now has two good hands and even his bigger sparring partners can feel his power," said Jaro.
Watch Hong Kong's Rex Tso in a sparring session with Ng Kuok-kun before he leaves for the Philippines
"All of my advice, Rex has followed it religiously. He has been no problem to me and he has improved tremendously since I began coaching him. When I first saw him as a skinny kid a few years ago in a tournament in the Philippines, I was wondering who that guy was, but I liked what I saw."
What Jaro first saw was a diamond in the rough, but a naturally gifted fighter.
"Rex has a good heart, but fought like a street fighter. I knew with the right training, he would be a completely different fighter," said Jaro, who trained his nephew, Sonny Boy Jaro, to the WBC world flyweight title in 2012.
Jaro has mapped out a strategy for Tso to dethrone Japan's IBF (International Boxing Federation) super flyweight world champion Diaki Kameda (29-4, 18 KOs) by the end of 2014.
"Rex can beat Kameda. The fight can happen. It depends on the promoter and other circumstances, but Rex … can be a world champion," Jaro said.