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News  


Good fight, but where’s the killer punch?


PhilBoxing.com




IT would not be fair to call it a great fight. Nor confirm the unbeaten Mark Magpayo of the ALA Stable as magnificent.

They were able to serve a competitive bout in Pinoy Pride 43 over the weekend. The huge hometown crowd in Tagbilaran, Bohol was visibly delighted.

Magsayo, 22, second-ranked contender for the WBO world featherweight crown, retained his International featherweight title with a unanimous decision win over Shota Hiyashi, 30, a former Japanese domestic featherweight champion.

**

Hiyashi, brought in as a trial horse, proved better than advertised. He pushed Magsayo to the limit. At the same time, the tough veteran Japanese warrior helped expose weak spots in Magsayo’s game, mainly in defense.

Magsayo claimed after the bout that he had never promised a knockout win.

His adoring townmates did not seem to mind that he could only deliver a so-so points victory.

But farther away from Tagbilaran, there was a gasp of collective disbelief, if not disappointment, after Magsayo failed to produce a single knockdown.

Magsayo’s record now stands at 18-0, with 13 KOs. He has has been peddled off as a knockout sensation.

“Saan napunta knockout niya, what happened?” cried Joel Negro, a keen and avid boxing spectator from the Hulo fish market in Mandaluyong City. Out in the city wet market sports hub, fight fans started wondering if it would be wise to immediately push the well-hyped Magsayo toward a challenge for the world crown.

**

There’s no denying Magsayo, who had also been wild and reckless inside the ring, has considerably improved. He has displayed amusing rhythm, and a measure of control.

On the whole though, there were loose moments when he would leave himself an open target, preferring to stay tough-necked in the middle while trying to score big.

Magsayo might need a few more big fights in order to mature.

**

So when could we know if he qualify to fight for a world crown?

“We won’t know until he fights one of the world champions,” said Dong Secuya, founder and chief editor of philboxing.com, lead world boxing web site.

“We know he has the potential,” he added. “Hopefully he will not end up like Jason Pagara who has more than 40 wins but has yet to fight a top-caliber fighter.”


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Recah Trinidad.


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