Magsayo closer to title shot

Joaquin Henson - The Philippine Star
Magsayo closer to title shot
Mark Magsayo with coach Marvin Somodio
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Tagbilaran fighter Mark (Magnifico) Magsayo took a major step closer to another world title shot by scoring a unanimous 10-round decision over Mexican southpaw Eduardo (Zurdito) Ramirez to claim the vacant WBA Intercontinental superfeatherweight championship at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas last Saturday night (yesterday morning, Manila time). Magsayo, 28, dropped Ramirez in the third frame with a right and in the last round, the Mexican tumbled to the canvas, laying flat on his back for a few seconds to catch his breath while complaining he was pushed down.

There was no doubt as to who deserved the verdict. Judges Glenn Feldman and Don Trella had it both 97-92 and judge Lisa Giampa, 99-90, all for Magsayo. Referee Thomas Taylor gave Ramirez a mandatory eight-count in the third and the Mexican took his time to get up but didn’t seem too buzzed.

“I’m happy with Mark’s performance,” said Magsayo’s coach and chief cornerman Marvin Somodio. “We wanted the knockout but it didn’t happen. We also needed those rounds to prepare for the world championship kaya OK lang. Hopefully, we get the championship fight right away. I know (MP Promotions president) Sean Gibbons is working really hard to get that opportunity.” Somodio described Ramirez, 31, as “medyo magulang” but Magsayo knew how to handle his tactics. The loss dipped Ramirez’ record to 28-4-3, with 13 KOs while Magsayo improved his mark to 26-2, with 17 KOs.

Magsayo, the former WBC featherweight champion, is ranked No. 6 by WBA and WBC, No. 8 by IBF and No. 9 by WBO in the superfeatherweight division. Since the win over Ramirez was for the WBA Intercontinental belt, it looks like Magsayo is headed for a crack at Lamont Roach’s throne. Magsayo has won two in a row since moving up from 126 to 130. He scaled 129 1/2 for the Ramirez bout.

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