By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
Senior Reporter

HAD HIS flourishing boxing career halted at one point for a year and a half because of contract dispute with his former handlers, undefeated Filipino boxer Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo is now excited to turn a new leaf after signing a deal to be part of MP Promotions last month.

Mr. Magsayo, 24, and a native of Tagbilaran, Bohol, is now girding to have his career humming anew, banking on the leverage that his newly inked partnership with boxing legend Manny Pacquiao and his group would provide.

“I am really excited and thankful for this opportunity that was given to me by my idol Manny (Pacquiao) and sir Sean Gibbons. I want to prove I am worthy of this chance. I will do my best,” said Mr. Magsayo (20-0) in an online correspondence.

Under his deal with MP Promotions, Mr. Magsayo gets to secure fights in the United States with top promoters, including Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions promotion which also handles Mr. Pacquiao’s fights.

He hopes that through it his goal of being a world champion is fast-tracked.

Formerly an ALA Promotions stalwart who held World Boxing Organization and International Boxing Federation titles, Mr. Magsayo said he considered other promotions to be part in after his falling out with ALA but decided to go with MP Promotions, seeing the latter as providing better opportunities for him.

Mr. Magsayo made his return to the ring in April last year following a year-and-a-half hiatus stemming from his contract dispute with ALA.

He defeated Indonesian fighter Erick Deztroyer by way of a fourth-round knockout in said fight before winning over Thai Panya Uthok by unanimous decision in August in Bohol to bag the WBC Asia featherweight championship.

“Me and my team considered other promotions as this time we want the best for me and we wanted to be careful with the terms of the contract. It is a big factor especially I look up to Senator Manny a lot since I started boxing. Having several world champions under his wing as well, I wanted to be one of them. That is my dream. I trust idol Manny and sir Sean can lead me to that,” said Mr. Magsayo, who joins world champions Jerwin Ancajas (IBF Super Flyweight World Champion), John Riel Casimero (WBO Bantamweight World Champion) and Pedro Taduran (IBF Minimumweight World Champion) in MP Promotions.

His first fight with his new group was supposedly on May 16 but because of the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) it had been moved along with other preparations for it.

“I was supposed to be back in LA (Los Angeles) for camp but now I am running two days on one day off like what Coach Freddie (Roach) told me before I went back here. I do shadow-boxing, skipping rope and sit-ups,” said Mr. Magsayo, who was at the Wild Card Gym in LA early this year.

“I am also careful with my food to make sure my weight doesn’t go up that much,” he added.

The Filipino fighter went on to say that what he had gone through in the last few years is helping him in this time of lull because of COVID-19.

“Mentally, honestly the things that happened to me before are helping me during this time of COVID-19 because I learned how to adapt to situations like this. I just have to keep my focus and my discipline to keep training,” he said.

Mr. Magsayo also encouraged his fellow athletes not to lose hope and keep the faith that everything about COVID-19 will soon end and stay with their training regimen despite the obstacles at hand.

“Make the best out of this situation. Train at home and just keep moving. This is only a trial for us and we can beat it together.”