By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
LATER this month undefeated Filipino boxer Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo returns to fight in his hometown of Tagbilaran in Bohol, looking to get his career humming anew following a two-year lull from boxing.
Headlining “Pride of Bohol” on Aug. 31 at the Bohol Wisdom Gymnasium, Mr. Magsayo, boasting of a 19-0 record (14 knockouts), will face Thai veteran fighter Panya Uthok for the vacant WBC Asia featherweight title and IBF Pan Pacific featherweight title.
It will mark the first time that Mr. Magsayo, 24, will fight in Tagbilaran since taking on, and defeating by unanimous decision, Japanese Shota Hayashi to retain the WBO International featherweight belt in November of 2017.
Pride of Bohol is also the first offering in the country of Vladimir Boxing Promotions, which Mr. Magsayo’s wife and manager, Frances, is part of.
“I’m so happy to be given the chance to fight once again in Tagbilaran, Bohol. I’m looking forward to the support that my town mates will give me,” said the Bohol native in Tagalog during the press conference for the event held on July 31 at the Howzat Sports Bar in Makati City.
“I will give my best for this fight. I have been training hard in the past months and finding ways to address different situations come fight day,” he added.
The last time Mr. Magsayo fought in Bohol he had to grind it out against Mr. Hayashi, who put up a tough fight and saw the Filipino dig deep to survive the full 12 rounds and hack out the UD victory.
After his fight with the Japanese, Mr. Magsayo was idle for a long time following a contractual dispute with ALA Promotions, his former handler.
He made his ring return in April this year in Singapore fighting under Vladimir Boxing Promotions, knocking out Indonesian Erick Deztroyer in the fourth round for the win.
Mr. Magsayo shared that it is like starting over again for him and that everything that had happen for him the last two years only made him more determined to forge ahead with his career.
“I’m happy to get over what had happened in the last two years and now I’m starting fresh. I’m fighting once again and I’m happy. I’m motivated to train more,” he said.
Against Mr. Uthok (53-6), Mr. Magsayo said he is expecting another tough challenge that requires him to be on top of his game.
“He’s (Uthok) the kind of fighter who likes to get inside and mix it up so we’re really working on my stamina to keep in step with him for the full 12 rounds. This fight is unlike my previous fight where I was feeling my way back. This time it is for a championship and I have to be ready,” Mr. Magsayo said.