August 12, 2022

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Mark II: Magsayo is following in Pacquiao's footsteps

Mark II: Magsayo is following in Pacquiao’s footsteps

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Featherweight Mark Magsayo tells Lewis Watson all about the minute he was to start with influenced by countryman Manny Pacquiao

MARK MAGSAYO is in very good spirits. It’s uncomplicated reminiscing on his childhood now he’s regarded as just one of the most effective featherweights on the planet.

“I wasn’t born to be a boxer, but I was surely born to be a fighter,” the 26-year-outdated tells Boxing Information from his camp in Los Angeles. Magsayo is deep in planning for his July 9 combat against the unbeaten Rey Vargas inside of the Alamodome, Texas. For now, nevertheless, he’s eager to just take the story back again 19 many years to a pivotal second in his lifestyle.

“My spouse and children experienced practically nothing,” he proceeds. “We survived on $5 a day from my moms and dads performing in the local bakery. At the age of eight I was compelled to get a job providing ice creams on the nearby beach locations when all of my buddies were out playing and possessing enjoyable.

“It was rough, but that was life. And it is really usual of a Filipino loved ones increasing up in poverty.”

Magsayo would minimize a lonely figure walking the dusty streets of Tagbilaran Town, Philippines, on route to his early morning shift on the shorelines of the Bohol province. His everyday living as an 8-12 months-previous would consist of really little outside the house tough of labour but one particular night time in November 2003 improved everything.

“I had no plan about boxing till my relatives and I frequented the ALA Boxing Health club in Bohol. It was freshly opened and they were displaying the to start with fight among Manny Pacquiao and Marco Antonio Barrera. This memory is so distinctive to me. Senator Pacquiao was amazing that evening [winning in 11 rounds] and he on your own encouraged me to commence boxing the very following day.

“I was totally persuaded that that was what I required to do. I stop my work offering ice lotions and went again to the boxing gym that week with a pal and my brother.”

Quickly ahead to 2022 and “Magnifico” Magasayo finds himself in the mix at the very major of the 126lbs division, where by he is ranked No. 3. In January, the Filipino outsmarted and outfought the then-longest-reigning belt-holder in the sport, Gary Russell Jnr, to take his WBC strap.

“This battle was no fluke,” Magsayo describes, pre-empting a suggestion that the scorecards that evening in Atlantic Metropolis had been debatable. “There were being a great deal of folks out there that didn’t believe I could beat him, but I know how substantially get the job done I place in in the gymnasium and how organized I was for my massive option.

“I really don’t intellect what people assume to be genuine, they will see in this upcoming struggle that I are worthy of this belt. I still consider I gained that fight plainly.”

Magsayo gets through Russell Jnr’s guard (Image by Mitchell Leff/Getty Illustrations or photos)

Magsayo trains out of the Wild Card Boxing Gym in Los Angeles and will take comfort and ease in subsequent in the footsteps of his idol, Manny Pacquiao. His coach, Freddie Roach, was more than welcoming of the then 24-yr-previous when he walked up the stairs of the fabled health club in 2020, and has considering that alluded to some of the similarities among his most recent cost and “Pac Man” himself.

“Mark has been a pleasure to coach. He is focused to his craft and keen to study,” Roach told Boxing News in a telling trade. “And greatest of all, he has demonstrated advancement with each individual struggle. I am really very pleased to be his coach.

“Both Manny [Pacquiao] and Mark [Magsayo] have terrific hand velocity and an amazing get the job done ethic. They also are never satisfied with supplying 100 for every cent. They dig down deep for that added effort and hard work in coaching camp, and in a battle, to give them selves an gain. Both of those are fierce opponents.”

Magsayo hopes the parallels will not end there. Pacquiao fought to a unanimous conclusion gain towards Antonio Margarito in 2010, chopping down a tall fighter who experienced a 6-inch benefit in the super-welterweight division, and Magsayo will have to defeat a related obstacle this weekend.

“He’s like a stick man!” Magsayo chuckles even though describing Vargas. “He’s a extremely good fighter but he has proved he can get damage in a fight a range of moments. Importantly, I’m likely to have to find a way to negate his large sizing advantage.

“I spoke with Pacquiao about this,” he extra. “He is so welcoming and superior with his time. He advised me the value of footwork in this fight and currently being capable to close the distance to get into range of Vargas – like he did in opposition to Margarito. If I can use good head motion and penetrate with my jab I really should get success.

“I will need to be fast and not enable him dominate with his jab, but I also assume him to operate for massive components of this fight which I have to be mindful of.

“We’ve managed to get a couple of tall fellas in as sparring associates – just one from Mexico and a single from Puerto Rico – and we’ve also worked a lot on my conditioning as we know how good Vargas can punch to the entire body.”

Roach additional: “It requires time for fighters to figure out how to split down their taller sparring companions, and efficiently attack them, but like Manny, Mark has tailored and is receiving a lot more confident every working day of sparring.”

Magsayo speaks intelligently from a clever head on his 26-calendar year-aged shoulders. He can take satisfaction in his interactions with Pacquiao and Roach and is inspired to soak up as a great deal information and teachings from their legendary professions as probable.

“Freddie [Roach] has helped especially with my combination punches in the course of this camp,” he continued. “That’s vital when you’re likely in versus these kinds of a tall male – to offload with combos and then get out of vary.”

But Magsayo is unwilling to predict the upcoming chapters of his career. He’s humble enough to “train and battle like a challenger” irrespective of sitting down close to the prime of the featherweight food stuff chain, and disputes any recommendation that his hunger may perhaps have waned.

“Most Filipinos are born into poverty and are expected to have to battle to survive,” he clarifies. “I’ve been blessed adequate to have success and assistance my loved ones, but not all are as lucky. I have been capable to acquire my father his individual bakery and my brother his own [i]sari-sari[i] retail outlet – a common ease shop in the Philippines – and I’m not concluded nevertheless.

Magsayo is scheduling on putting some roots of his own down in Hollywood as he continues to perform from within the walls of the Wild Card.

“Maybe I’ll commit my future shell out cheque on myself and get us [him and his wife, Frances] a property in L.A,” he laughs.

This Saturday, Mark Magsayo’s boxing journey completes its total circle as he headlines inside of the Alamodome, Texas – the exact same location from which Pacquiao inspired the younger Filipino 19 yrs ago.

What end result is Magasayo expecting?

“The similar.”

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