Rex Tso an inspirational role model for health and fitness
In our increasingly sedentary society, the boxer’s fitness and work ethic should be motivation for all to improve our well-being
Hongkongers love a local success story. Boxer Rex Tso Sing-yu is just that and with each win, his stature grows. His string of wins, titles and endorsement deals have given him a level of public adoration he could never have imagined the first time he donned boxing gloves. But it did not come easily; as with any sport, success requires motivation, tenacity and hard work.
In that regard, Tso is an inspiration. He struggled at school and overcame a lazy and listless demeanour to rise to the top of the super flyweight boxing division. Connecting with the right manager and promoter was instrumental to his success, but without the realisation of his self-worth and what could be achieved with hard work, there would have been no career. His knockout last weekend of Japanese opponent Hirofumi Mukai before 8,000 boxing fans, community figures and entertainers to extend his winning streak to 21 fights proved how far he had come.
Boxing has its supporters and haters, the opponents usually citing its violent side. The sight of Tso and Mukai, exhausted and bloodied after their encounter last Saturday, would only seem to confirm such assertions. But the detractors are viewing the sport through historically prejudiced eyes, not considering that it involves two fit people willingly trading blows with padded gloves under strict rules overseen by full medical backup. In principle, it is similar to many other sports; a contest of speed, strength and strategy that has risks and dangers.
Tso has won admirers for his fitness and physique, but it is for his string of wins without defeat that he has garnered most attention. As his bouts move beyond regional competitions to the international stage, there will be even greater fame and fortune – and that is where his greatest influence lies. Sportspeople are society’s fitness ambassadors, an important role given the sedentary nature of our society. School students not at the top or even middle of their classes also need such inspirational figures to look up to. The popularity of sport and fitness and the health and well-being of Hong Kong is in the hands of parents and hometown heroes like Tso.