Rex Tso Sing-yu says he is ready to put his recent injury nightmare behind him as he looks ahead to his bout in this weekend's Champions of Gold in Macau.
The unbeaten "Wonder Kid" has just returned from three weeks' training in the Philippines and is looking forward to his bantamweight, non-title, six-round contest against Indonesia's John Bajawa after fully recovering from injuries sustained in his last fight in May.
"I feel 100 per cent again. The rest really did me a world of good and I am ready to fight again," said Tso, who turns 27 tomorrow.
Hong Kong's first professional fighter suffered severe bruised hands and broken blood vessels in his nose during his unanimous victory over Thailand's Ratchasak Kokietgym, who twice knocked down the Hong Kong star in the third round of Featherweight Fury.
"The first week of training in the Philippines didn't go so well. My hands were still slightly bruised and, as we had to take precautions with extra padding in my headgear and wrapping [for my fists], it didn't feel comfortable," said the southpaw, a natural super flyweight.
"I used normal headgear in my second week of training and everything went much better. It was so frustrating for me when I had all that extra padding on, it didn't feel right," said Tso (13-0-0, 8 KOs), who will fight at 118 pounds against Bajawa (12-6, 6 KOs) at the CotaiArena.
"My hands were still hurting in the first week of training. Even with all that wrapping, it still hurt. But gradually, it got better."
"It felt like I had a rice cooker on my head," he laughed. "I had to keep my head up and my movement was severely restricted. Anyway, things worked out well in the end."
Tso's coach and manager Jay Lau Chi-yuen said Tso was feeling good about himself despite his recent injuries and couldn't wait to return to the ring - and stretch his unbeaten record.
"He had his best sparring session on Thursday. Rex's sparring partner had bruises in his back after a heavy session with Rex, who hit some really good body shots. I was surprised his shots were all on target. Rex uploaded his training video and sent it to me. I almost spilled my coffee in the morning when I saw it. He looked good," said Lau.
Tso will be on the undercard of Champions of Gold, which will be headlined by China's two-time gold medallist Zou Shiming (4-0-0, 1 KO), who will contest a 10-rounder for the first time, against Colombia's Luis de la Rosa (23-3, 13 KOs) for the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) international flyweight title.
Cuba's Guillermo Rigondeaux (13-0, 8 KOs) will also put his WBA/WBO super bantamweight title on the line against Thailand's Sod Looknongyangtoy (63-2-1, 27 KOs) in Macau.