No rest for Magsayo

Joaquin Henson - The Philippine Star
No rest for Magsayo
Mark Magsayo with MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons and Jimuel Pacquiao.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Former WBC featherweight champion Mark Magsayo is taking no break for the holidays and was set to jump back into training at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles yesterday after knocking out Isaac Avelar in his 130-pound debut last weekend. It didn’t take long for Magsayo to dispose of Avelar who went down twice in the third round and had to be stretchered out of the ring.

Magsayo said he has no plans of returning home with wife Frances until there’s a new world title belt around his waist. It’s been over a year since the Magsayos visited home. Avelar was his first test as a superfeatherweight and Magsayo looked formidable. He began cutting weight, about 12 to 15 pounds, last July and easily made 130 the day before the eight-round bout in Long Beach. “Dala ko ang power sa 130,” he said. “’Di ako nanghina, sa mitts lang, ramdam ko ang lakas at tamang kondisyon.”

In the gym, Magsayo said he worked with coach Marvin Somodio on improving footwork and speed. “Araw-araw, practice kami ng left hook delivery para muscle memory,” he said. “Focus din namin ang depensa at timing.” Magsayo said he floored Avelar with two right straights then a left hook and another right straight early in the third and finished him off with a left hook. “Akala ko tatayo pa siya tapos natakot ako at ‘di siya bumangon at na-stretcher pero conscious naman siya,” he said.

Magsayo said with MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons laying the groundwork, he hopes to be back in the ring in March or April for a title eliminator. Before next year ends, Magsayo plans to fight for a world championship again. He called it his new mission.

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