MANILA, Philippines – Hong Kong-based boxer Rex Tso was grateful to receive boxing advice from former world champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire during a brief sparring session in Manila last week.
“It was the first time that I actually got training tips from a world champion before, so I am really happy about that,” Tso said in an interview with the South China Morning Post.
Tso was present during last week’s press conference where it was formally announced that Donaire will challenge South African Simpiwe Vetyeka for the WBA featherweight championship on May 31.
The 26-year-old Tso will also be competing in that fight card, titled “Featherweight Fury,” as he defends his WBO Asia-Pacific junior bantamweight belt against Japanese boxer Atsushi Kakutani.
Tso sparred for a few rounds with Donaire at the Elorde Gym in Sucat and later told the South China Morning Post that he “learned some invaluable tips” from “The Filipino Flash.”
“He was kind enough to spar with me and he taught me something I think is very important if I want to further my career,” said Tso.
“Nonito told me to focus on leading my offense with my legs rather than using the upper body. He said footwork was of the utmost importance,” he added.
Tso revealed that he has watched Donaire’s bouts on YouTube in an effort to emulate the Filipino fighter’s skills, and was gratified to get tips from the boxer in person.
“Good footwork requires more stamina because I would have to kneel, bend my knees and shuffle in and out of an opponent,” Tso said.
The unbeaten Tso is going for his 13th straight victory in the May 31 card in Macau.