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By Dong Secuya
23 Nov 2017

Tagbilaran, Bohol – Boholano native and WBO No. 2 ranked featherweight Mark 'Magnifico' Magsayo could fight for a world title eliminator if he wins his fight against his Japanese challenger Shota Hayashi this Saturday, this came up during the final press conference of the Magsayo-Hayashi WBO International featherweight championship on the main event of 'Pinoy Pride 43' dubbed as 'The Battle in Bohol” to be held at the Bohol Wisdom Gymnasium here.

WBO vice-president for Asia-Pacific Leon Panoncillo Jr, who is here to supervise the Magsayo-Hayashi WBO International featherweight championship, said that No. 1 ranked contender Joseph 'Jojo' Diaz will have to fight the next available contender with the winner to become the mandatory challenger to the world champion Oscar Valdez.

“We have a process to be followed wherein the top contender will have to fight the next available contender in the Top 15 with the winner to become the mandatory challenger,” Panoncillo said. “If the the No. 2 contender is available, he has to fight the No. 2, if not, he will fight the next available contender and so on.”

ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer said he is willing to negotiate with Diaz's promoter Golden Boy Promotions if he sees that Magsayo is ready to take that fight. “We are willing to go into that direction if that's the path that we have to take,” Aldeguer said. “However, Mark has to win his fight this Saturday and we cannot overlook the Japanese fighter because like all Japanese fighters, Hayashi is very tough.”

Panoncillo also said that Top Rank, Valdez's promoter, and Golden Boy Promotions might just negotiate and agree to have Valdez fight Diaz next. “It's just the politics of boxing. If two promoters negotiate and agree to make the fight, then the fight can be done,” Panoncillo said.

The champion Oscar Valdez, from Sonora, Mexico, is undefeated with a record of 23 wins with 19 knockouts He last fought against Filipino contender Genesis Servania in a fight of the year candidate slambang affair. No. 1 contender Joseph 'Jojo' Diaz is also undefeated at 25 wins with 13 knockouts and holds the WBO North American (NABO) featherweight title. No. 2 contender Magsayo is also undefeated at 17 wins with 13 stoppages and holds the WBO International featherweight title which according to Panoncillo is a very prestigious title next only to the world title itself.

Pinoy Pride 43 Battle in Bohol (L-R): Michael Domingo, Edmund Villamor, Jeo Santisima, Albert Pagara, Tagbilaran mayor John Geesnel Yap, Mark Magsayo, ALA Promotions CEO Michael Aldeguer, Shota Hayashi, WBO vice-president Leon Panoncillo Jr, Hayashi's manager Kiyoshi Hatanaka, Mohammed Kambuluta and Kichang Kim.

Meanwhile the heavy-handed Magsayo, 22, said he was not looking for a knockout against Hayashi. “I've trained for a long fight because I know my opponent is very durable. The fight could go the full 12 rounds but if I see an opportunity to knock him out, I'll knock him out,” Magsayo said.

Magsayo's coach Edmund Villamor said that they have prepared anything Hayashi will do in the ring. “If he comes to fight, put pressure on Magsayo, we are prepared for that. And if he box, we are also ready for that,” Villamor said who also noted that the Japanese is very durable.

Hayashi, who previously held the Japanese featherweight title, said that it was his wish to fight strong fighters and happy to fight Magsayo. “I don't really know if he is that strong because I have yet to fight him. But based on his record and his fights that I saw, I believe he is a strong fighter,” Hayashi, who will turn 30 years old tomorrow, said. He also said that if loses to Magsayo, he might retire.

Also on the card is 'Prince' Albert Pagara (28-1-0, 19KOs) who said he was determined to climb back in the rankings to have a chance for a rematch with the boxer who gave his only loss, Cesar Juarez. Pagara will face Mohammed 'Chico' Kambuluta (16-3-0, 6KOs) of Tanzania for 10-rounds super bantamweight non-title fight.

Promising knockout artist Jeo Santisima (14-2-0, 12KOs) will face Kincahng 'The Lion from Borneo” Kim (8-4-1, 2KOs) of Indonesia for 10-round super bantamweight non-title fight.

Also on the card are the following matchups:

Virgel Vitor, Tagbilaran City vs John Ray Logatiman, Paranaque City, 10 rounds super bantamweight
Melvin Jerusalem, Bukidnon vs Pedro Taduran, Valenzuela City, 8 rounds minimumweight
Esneth Domingo, Sultan Kudarat vs Lowell Saguisa, Leyte, 6 rounds flyweight
Rocky Fuentes, Cebu City vs Ryan Tampus, Leyte, 6 rounds flyweight
Roli Gasca, Barili, Cebu vs Jason Tinampay, Dagohoy, Bohol, 6 rounds featherweight
Christian Bacolod, Cebu City vs Ryan Makiputin, Bukidnon, 6 rounds junior flyweight

Tagbilaran City mayor John Geesnel Yap graced the noontime press conference and promised to always support boxing and thanked Magsayo for carrying the banner of his city.

The weighin has been scheduled at noon Friday at the Island City Mall here.

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