FILIPINO Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo marked his boxing ring return with a hard-earned split decision victory over Mexican opponent Rigoberto Hermosillo on Sunday (Manila time) at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California.

Fighting for the first time under MP Promotions, Mr. Magsayo found the going tough early but did just enough to swing the tide in his favor as the fight progressed en route to the win that kept his record unblemished at 21-0.

The scorecard after 10 rounds read, 100-90, 96-94 and 94-96, for the Bohol native.

Mr. Hermosillo was aggressive all throughout the fight, even outlanding Mr. Magsayo in punches, 181-136, as per the official fight count, as well as in punches thrown, 856-417.

The Filipino, however, was more efficient (33% to his opponent’s 21%) with his punches, which included solid blows to the head that rocked Mr. Hermosillo.

Following his victory, Mr. Magsayo thanked his team, particularly coach Freddie Roach, who he said taught him a lot throughout their preparation.

The Hermosillo fight was the first for Mr. Magsayo since August last year, where he was a unanimous decision winner over Thai Panya Uthok.

Mr. Hermosillo is a replacement opponent for the Filipino fighter, who was named less than two weeks before the fight, after original foe Jose Haro of the United States opted out of the scheduled bout and went into retirement.

Mr. Magsayo signed with Manny Pacquiao’s MP Promotions in March where he hopes to re-establish his career and join stable mates Jerwin Ancajas, John Riel Casimero and Pedro Taduran as world champions. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo