Ex-champs on comeback trail

Joaquin Henson - The Philippine Star
Ex-champs  on comeback trail
Mark Magsayo.

MANILA, Philippines —  Former WBC featherweight champion Mark Magsayo and ex-IBF superflyweight titleholder Jerwin Ancajas are working double time in the gym as they prepare for their next fights leading to a chance to once more rule the world. “I don’t give up on my guys,” said MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons who’s laying down the road map for both fighters to rebuild their careers. It’s a tough climb back to the top but Magsayo and Ancajas are ready for the challenge.

Gibbons said Magsayo, the WBC No. 6, IBF No. 8 and WBO No. 10 superfeatherweight, will tangle with one-time world title challenger Eduardo Ramirez in the first of a two-step eliminator on June 15. Magsayo, who once held the WBC featherweight belt and is based in Los Angeles, bounced back from his defeats to Rey Vargas and Brandon Figueroa to stop Isaac Avelar last December. If Magsayo repulses Ramirez, he’ll advance to a final eliminator on the undercard of WBA superlightweight champion Isaac Cruz’ defense against Mexican Jose Valenzuela in Los Angeles on Aug. 3. Cruz, known as Pittbull, is MP Promotions’ first world champion from Mexico.

Gibbons said Ancajas, the WBA No. 10 bantamweight, is training at the Survival Camp in Magallanes, Cavite, for a comeback bout here this August. “Jerwinner will do two fights then get another shot at the world title,” said Gibbons. “Right now, he’s with his wife and kids at Survival. While enjoying quality time with family, Jerwin isn’t taking a step back in training.” Last February, Ancajas lost to Takuma Inoue in a bid for the WBA bantamweight crown in Tokyo.

Magsayo, 28, had a five-month reign as WBC featherweight champion in 2022 losing the crown on his first defense to Vargas. His record is 25-2 with 17 KOs. Ancajas, 32, was the IBF 115-pound champion from 2016 to 2022, compiling nine successful defenses until giving up the throne to Argentina’s Fernando Martinez. He failed in a bid to regain the belt, moved up to superbantamweight to halt Colombia’s Wilner Soto then slid down to bantamweight to face Inoue. His record is 34-4-2 with 23 KOs.

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