The song is about a tree, about how it grows outwards and spreads its branches wide. Perhaps this traditional song is a metaphor for life, perhaps it's just about a tree, but either way it hums slowly, hums happily. It is better suited to children skipping with a rope than a boxer preparing to spar. Usually, the music at the gym is a little more up-tempo. Australian boxer Matthew Corbett likes all kinds, but Samoan boxer Satupaitea Farani Tavu'i prefers the music from the Pacific Islands, whether it is this traditional folksy song or, what Pauli Tuli Wong Kee refers to, the 'music the young ones like'. As the two boxers prepare for their training session, Tavu'i, 22, mouths the words to the song as Tuli Wong Kee helps him put on his head gear. He sings along as he shadow boxes and warms up for the training session. In a month's time, Tavu'i will be in Beijing fighting in his first Olympics. Music and all, he's in Hong Kong to prepare for the biggest moment of his life. Tuli Wong Kee, the president of South Pacific Pro Boxing, is the father of Andrew Wong Kee, the Hong Kong rugby player who now owns a boxing gym in Central. Half-Samoan (both his parents are half-Samoan and half-Chinese), Wong Kee spoke to his father after Tavu'i qualified for the Olympics and decided it would be best for Tavu'i to come to Hong Kong and acclimatise prior to Beijing. 'We don't want to take him straight from Samoa to China,' Wong Kee said. 'Hopefully, we bring him here, train him hard and the transition from here to China will be a lot smoother.' Tuli Wong Kee, who lives in Samoa, is acting as chaperone and translator. Corbett, the 2007 Commonwealth light-heavyweight champion and Australian champion, missed out on the Olympics after losing in the first round of the Oceania Olympic qualifying tournament, but agreed to come to Hong Kong to help Tavu'i. In the nearly four weeks he's been in Hong Kong, Wong Kee has focused on Tavu'i's strength and conditioning and Corbett has worked on the boxing. 'This close to the competition, we're not going to change the style of how he boxes, just tweak it a little bit,' Wong Kee said. '[We'll] identify his downfalls and try to correct those.' The pair have been working out twice a day, six days a week, with a day's rest (and an off-day visit to Ocean Park). Corbett and Tavu'i spar every other day, with Corbett trying to communicate his international experience with Tavu'i, who has not travelled past Oceania to compete. Along with improving his fitness, Wong Kee and Corbett want to get him out of his comfort zone and help him adapt to the fighting styles in the rest of the world. Wong Kee called Tavu'i 'a medal hopeful', although history is not in his favour. Tavu'i will be one of just four Samoan athletes competing in Beijing. Having participated in the Olympics since 1984 in Los Angeles, no athlete representing Samoa has ever won a medal and the three previous boxers did not make it past the first round. Tavu'i clinched his trip to Beijing by winning the light-heavyweight division in the Oceania qualifiers, which were dominated by Australia, who will represent Oceania in all but two of the 11 weight classes. 'I think he's always going to get better with the likes of Matthew here. With him sparring every second day, [Tavu'i] is going to get better,' Wong Kee said when asked to define what he meant by 'hopeful'. Corbett said Tavu'i's chances all depended on the draw. 'If you're unlucky and you draw the number one in the world, it doesn't matter who you are, it's going to be very hard just to get past the first round,' said Corbett. The draw will take place a day before the competition opens. Tavu'i had his own opinion on how far he could go. 'I believe the Lord is looking after me,' Tavu'i said through Tuli Wong Kee. Tavu'i is the youngest of what he said was 'too many' brothers and sisters. His family has seven boys and five girls and one of his older brothers was an amateur boxer in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Tavu'i started boxing at 12 after his father introduced him to the sport and when he left school, Tavu'i decided to concentrate on boxing full-time. No matter the result in Beijing, this will be Tavu'i's only Olympics as he said he would turn professional after Beijing. Other countries may be able to offer support if Tavu'i wanted to continue his amateur career, but Samoa cannot. Boxing in Samoa, while popular, has less of a professional feel than what many of the other Olympic boxers are used to. Wong Kee described the situation as 'a punching bag and a skipping rope' and his father described training as 'outside, no gym and Farani comes and punches a bag under a coconut tree'. Though there are boxing centres (the country of 217,000 hosted Oceania tournaments in both 2007 and 2008) and more are in the process of being built, the infrastructure is not the same as other richer countries. 'The Pacific Islands don't have the facilities that countries in other parts of the world have,' said Boxing Australia chairman Ted Tanner. 'Samoans are good at very physical sports and at the Oceania Championship, I would have expected an Australian to win the [light-heavyweight] division. So the fact that Farani won means he's a good boxer.' The majority of Samoan boxing competitions are Saturday afternoon fights with family, friends and others from the village serving as the cheering audience. They may train under coconut trees, but Tuli Wong Kee said the fights were serious. 'All the learning comes from his father,' Tuli Wong Kee said. 'When he's no good, he gets another hiding. That's how they train them. They [Samoan boxers] always call it a tough life because once they aren't doing well, there's the training and then there's another training after it. The father will get into it.' Young Samoan boxers focus on the Olympics and now that he has reached that level, Tavu'i needs to quickly learn how to make his fighting style more appealing, especially as Oceania is among the weaker of the zones being represented - just one boxer from the Oceania zone will compete in each weight class, whereas Asia, for example, will send five and Africa six. 'The easier he can make his fight for himself, the easier he can impress the judges,' Corbett said. 'You have to impress the judges because even if you hit your opponent with scoring punches they [may not] score you because the judges are paying attention to your opponent. You want the judges' attention on you.' Corbett and Wong Kee said Tavu'i is proving to be a quick study. In a few weeks his fitness has improved and Corbett added he is changing and understanding what they are trying to teach him. 'He tries very hard, he doesn't complain and he's picking up what we're teaching him quickly and that's a bonus,' Corbett said. 'As a fighter, he's aggressive and places a lot of pressure on his opponent.' As for Tavu'i, who said he much prefers his village to this big city he's found himself in, he couldn't wait for the Olympics to begin. 'I really want the Olympics to start now,' Tavu'i said. 'I want to step into the ring.'