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Donaire, Magsayo join forces


PhilBoxing.com




Former IBF/IBO flyweight, interim WBA superflyweight, WBC bantamweight, IBF/WBO superbantamweight and WBA featherweight champion Nonito Donaire, Jr. is now training with WBO/WBC No. 1 featherweight Mark Magsayo in Las Vegas as they prepare for big fights before the year ends.

Donaire, 35, is booked to battle WBA unified bantamweight titlist Ryan Burnett of Belfast at the 13,000-seat SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland, on Nov. 3 while Magsayo is being lined up by Las Vegas-based promoter Cameron Dunkin for his third US appearance next month.

Magsayo, 23, has an 18-0 record with 13 KOs, including seven in the first round. He is next in the queue as mandatory challenger of both WBO champion Oscar Valdez of Mexico and WBC titlist Gary Russell, Jr. of Washington, D. C. Magsayo is also ranked No. 7 by the IBF. He previously fought at the StubHub Center in Carson City in 2015 and 2016, winning twice.

Magsayo recently flew in to Las Vegas with wife Frances who takes care of his business affairs. His promotional rights are in question as the ALA Group of Cebu claims a live five-year contract with Magsayo who seems to have reneged on the agreement by engaging Vikram Sivapragasam of Malaysia’s Vladimir Boxing as manager and Dunkin’s brother Joe of Now Boxing as promoter. ALA president Michael Aldeguer said there is a case pending in court to resolve Magsayo’s alleged breach and once a fight date is set, his lawyers will send a legal letter to Dunkin.

Magsayo landed in Las Vegas from Manila last Sept. 12 and met with Dunkin and media during the week leading to the recent Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin bout. Donaire, who is being trained by Brandon Woods, said he’s working with Magsayo in the gym.

“Mark is very athletic and listens well,” said Donaire. “He works hard and definitely has a big future in becoming a world champion. Mark would match up well with Valdez and it’ll be a great fight to see. I’d push Mark to fight Valdez because of the excitement of the Filipino-Mexican rivalry.”

Valdez, 27, has just recovered from a cracked jaw which he sustained in outpointing Scott Quigg. For two months, his mouth was wired shut and he could not eat solid food. But two weeks ago, he was cleared to resume boxing in the gym with no surgery required. Valdez will be ready to defend his title in December or January.

Donaire is getting ready for his showdown with Burnett whose last eight fights went the distance. Burnett, 26, has a 19-0 record with 9 KOs and isn’t known to be a devastating puncher but he’s a proficient boxer. The fight will be for Burnett’s WBA crown but it’s also a leg in the World Boxing Super Series to unify the 118-pound title. The winner of the Burnett-Donaire duel will advance to face the survivor of the Oct. 13 fight between WBO champion Zolani Tete of South Africa and Mikhail Aloyan of Russia at the Expo Center in Yekaterinburg.

Donaire’s experience will play a big role against Burnett. He has 24 more fights under his belt with a record of 38-5, including 24 KOs. But Burnett is nine years younger and the age difference could be a factor. Donaire is coming down in weight and hasn’t fought as a bantamweight since outpointing Omar Narvaez in 2011, 15 fights and seven years ago. Donaire, however, said the drop in weight is no problem. Donaire is now ranked No. 6 by the WBA, No. 7 by the WBO and No. 16 by the WBC in the bantamweight division.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.


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